Business Food for Thought Regarding COVID-19 and Innovation

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As we navigate through this current landscape and uncharted waters amid coronavirus, a lot of businesses are going to find themselves in interesting situations. Many small and local businesses have had to adjust to a changing business climate and remote employees which were once considered a luxury are now a vital necessity.

It is a fact that times of chaos can also present opportunities for innovation, positive change and growth if you use the time to think outside the box and stop asking yourself “why” and instead question “why not?”

Here is some food for thought as we get through this new global pandemic.

Keep your perspective

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This is a reminder that none of it really matters in the grand scheme of things,  and that your family and loved ones count over everything! I think we can all agree that if you and your loved ones are healthy, you’ve got so much to be grateful for right now. There’s just nothing in the business world that matters more than the health and well-being of the people closest to me. Business matters, but in the grand scheme of things, health matters more.

Innovate, Innovate, Innovate

I believe it’s time for businesses to think about innovation. It’s about thinking outside of current strategies and concepts that have always been available. COVID Chaos has forced businesses to consider platforms like Zoom, 8×8 and Go-to-meetings as alternatives to in-person meetings. It is likely these video conferences will become the norm post COVID.

Innovation comes in two forms: The first option is marketing innovation. Now maybe the time to start the process of leveraging social media platforms or ads as opposed to things like door knocking, relying on the old referral network or going to the Chamber of Commerce.

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It could also be the time for those tasked with lead generation and new client acquisition at many big companies to really become deep practitioners in digital advertising and get back in the trenches.

The other form is innovation in your product or service. For example, barbershops might not be able to cut hair right now, but what about those scissors and soaps and beard oil some of them have in their shop? Now maybe the time to start an e-commerce store and experimenting with that e-commerce store may lead to some extra sales that provide a nice cushion. Restaurants can consider getting on delivery apps or creating packaged food that they can ship around the country.

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Big hotel brands could also potentially donate some of their rooms to health-care workers. Or what if they took the food they deliver as room service and turn it into a food delivery to people in their area?

Not every idea will be a good fit for every brand — depends a lot on their resources, their DNA, persona and what they feel comfortable with. But now’s the time to ask “why not” instead of “why.”

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Bring Story Time Back

Right now is a great time for businesses to start the process of telling stories around things like how they got started, their biggest mistake or their craziest experience. It’s a practical concept for many right now since we’re not working in offices and don’t have the option to create content at work. It’s a good opportunity to take a step back and start digging into that “origin story.”

Every CEO has a handful of key executives or assistants that help them run their organization. What if they sat down and did “story time” with each of them to talk about their career or why they decided to work at the company?

As another example, an executive at a hotel brand could start a content series to interview the head of a department to share some interesting insights about a part of the company most people never get to see. They might also interview the people who do room service and share some of the most fun experiences they had interacting with customers or the craziest things people tried to order.

Again, every brand has its DNA and all the ideas here aren’t right for every brand. But giving people the option to relate to different people and stories within your organization creates more opportunity for connection.

It’s super important to understand that people buy from people. Right now is an interesting time to tell stories and show people who you are.

Last but not least of all, please be patient

Whether its a few weeks, a few months of the year, it’s going to take a lot of patience to get through it. Patience will be its own virtue and reward.

Please visit for more tips and strategies on innovation and digital marketing.  This article was written by Malcolm Ilogu; Co-founder/Chief Digital Strategist at Midland Digital Solutions.

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Latest News

Next Meats, Purveyor of the World’s First Plant-based Yakiniku Meats, Is Now in Singapore

The Tokyo-based startup makes its debut in the alt-protein hotspot of Singapore


  • Next Meats has collaborated with Aburi-EN to deliver two new meal sets
  • Made with soybean proteins, the Kalbi contains no chemical additives or animal ingredients

SINGAPORE - Media OutReach - 14 April 2021 - Next Meats, a purveyor of the world's first plant-based yakiniku meats, is making its debut in the alternative protein hotspot, Singapore! The Japanese alternative meat company has collaborated this time with popular Japanese restaurant Aburi-EN, which will offer two types of set meals using the NEXT Kalbi (boneless short rib) for the very first time. Made largely from soy proteins, the NEXT Kalbi contains double the amount of protein and half the fats than that of regular meat and even more, it does not contain any chemical additives or cholesterol due to its lack of animal ingredients. Now, Singaporeans can enjoy yakiniku without the guilt!

Business Food for Thought Regarding COVID-19 and Innovation - Brand Spur

From left to right: Premium Kalbi Don Set and Stamina Teishouku Set

The two new menus available at Aburi-EN are the Kalbi Don Set (S$13.80) and the Stamina Teishoku (S$15.80) — which are available for a limited time only. Next Meats has specifically chosen to work with Aburi-EN as they are a Japanese grilled-meat specialist. The two menus are the culmination of many months of research and development, and they will also be Aburi-EN's first-ever plant-based dishes.

Business Food for Thought Regarding COVID-19 and Innovation - Brand Spur

For the Kalbi Don Set, Next Meat's Kalbi is grilled and served atop a bowl of fragrant Japanese steamed rice. Equally indulgent, the Stamina Teishoku features the Kalbi stir-fried with cabbage along with egg imported from Okinawa. The meat is then served with fragrant Japanese steamed rice, salad, pickles and miso soup. For both dishes, the meats are glazed with a special homemade sauce that packs an irresistible umami punch.

Both the Kalbi Don Set and Stamina Teishoku will be available at all Aburi-EN stores from April to July 2021.

An advocate of sustainable food production and better food security

The NEXT Kalbi is one of Next Meats' innovative offerings, which includes other plant-based delicacies such as the NEXT burger and NEXT gyudon (beef bowl). The company champions the importance of saving the planet and humanity through reducing the emission of greenhouse gases (which is produced from meat consumption and animal agriculture) and utilizing biotechnology to combat protein deficiency.

Through extensive research and development, Next Meats has culminated the knowhow on using molecular binding to mould vegetable proteins from powder. Buoyed by state-of-the-art, proprietary technologies, the company has successfully created vegan substitutes that replicate the texture of real meat.

About Next Meats

Hailing from Tokyo, Next Meats is a food-tech venture company that specialises in the research and development of Japanese-style alternative meat products. Its journey of product development began in 2017, and the company was officially established in 2020. Its portfolio of products includes plant-based burger patties, gyudon and yakiniku meats.

Social Media for Next Meats

Facebook: /nextmeats.singapore

Instagram: @nextmeats_singapore

Hashtags: #nextmeats #nextmeats_sg #japaneseplantbased

About Aburi-EN

Aburi-EN is Singapore's leading Japanese Grill restaurant chain, best known for delicious high quality grilled donburi bowls. Signature dishes include the Premium Buta Don with grilled chestnut-fed pork, Wagyu Karubi Don, and the Wagyu Stamina Don, made using A4/A5 Miyazaki Wagyu, which has won Japan's "National Wagyu Award" for 3 consecutive years, among many others. The homemade sauces give the meats and dishes an extra umami-ness. Aburi-EN is also known for affordable highballs and Japanese sours, which pair perfectly with the Aburi dishes.

Social Media for Aburi-EN

Facebook: /aburiensg


Hashtags: #aburiensg #aburiendonburi #aburienjapanesegrill


- Isetan Scotts:

350 Orchard Rd, #01-K1 Shaw House, Singapore 238868

- Causeway Point

1 Woodlands Square, #02-09B Causeway Point, Singapore 738099

- Jem

50 Jurong Gateway Rd, #01-04 Jem, Singapore 608549

- Vivo City

1 Harbourfront Walk, #01-159/160 VivoCity, Singapore 098585

- Novena Square

238 Thomson Rd, #01-89/90, Singapore 307683

- Guoco Tower

1 Wallich St, #B2 - 09, Singapore 078884

- Orchard Central

181 Orchard Central, Central, #01-16 Orchard, 238896

- Suntec City

3 Temasek Blvd, #B1-121 Suntec City Mall, Singapore 038983

- Nex

23 Serangoon Central, #01-63/64/65 Nex, Singapore 556083

Operating Hours

11am – 10pm, Daily

Business Food for Thought Regarding COVID-19 and Innovation - Brand Spur
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