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5 Ways Marketing Strategy Has Changed Permanently Marketers who embrace these changes will be able to grow their brands even if the downturn continues.

By Linda Orr, PhD Edited by Jessica Thomas

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Busakorn Pongparnit | Getty Images

The global crisis has permanently altered our world. Universities that do not go online while still engaging students will go bankrupt; many small businesses will struggle and collapse; some even say this is the end of the U.S. economic power. On the positive side, skies are bluer, we have all learned to practice better hygiene and appreciate infectious diseases, and we have learned to connect on a deeper level. Large groups of workers will never return to physical office space, allowing better cost efficiencies and a greater work-life balance, and higher education may become more affordable.

Marketing, too, will forever change. Marketers who embrace these changes will be able to grow their brands, even if the economic downturn lasts for years and becomes a depression. Seventy-six percent of people have picked up new habits, and 89 percent of these people plan to keep their new habits. Thirty-six percent of consumers plan to stay loyal to new brands they have used during the crisis.

Peloton is the perfect example of how a company can create new loyal customers amid disaster. As gyms around the world shut down, there was an ideal opportunity for regular exercisers to join an online and at-home exercise brand. People who exercise regularly tend to be "addicted" to working out. It is not something that can be stopped cold turkey (like Starbucks coffee). Here, there is a brand loyalty level and engagement level beyond what happens when people are loyal to a brand of clothing. Peloton fits into a category like Apple. The product filters into everyday life and becomes part of who a person is. Peloton instructors even name the users "Peloton." Most workouts start with "Let's go Peloton." Through a combination of great hiring, great programming and the inherent nature of the product, customers become more and more loyal to the point where canceling the subscription is never an option. During the first few months of economic shutdowns, Peloton subscriptions jumped 94 percent, Q2 sales were up 66 percent and the stationary bikes temporarily sold out. Twenty-five percent of Americans never plan to go back to the gym. Peloton will keep most of these new customers.

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