British technology company Elvie makes hardware products for women’s health, which means that supply chain issues were front and centre of its worries when the pandemic hit – but keeping an eye on the future was crucial.

Aoife Nally, global marketing director at Elvie, admitted that the onset of COVID-19 back in the spring of 2020 was “definitely a frightening time” for a company that sells hardware requiring relatively long lead times and complex systems. However, both supply and demand managed to hold up pretty well.

“We did have enough stock in our warehouses and given our products, our focus on health and well being, there seemed to be an underlying resilient demand for the products,” she told Advertising Week (September 2020). (For more read WARC’s report: Elvie’s category-defining femtech finds a newly health-conscious world)

The focus within the company, Nally added, was on ensuring the short-term health of the business, “but not taking away from the future growth of where we want to go”.

Priorities needed to be set: research and development would be protected, and expansions needed to be paused or re-focused. Some of its big leaps into very different markets have been rescheduled, though Nally also reported that Elvie was still able to launch into seven European markets.

Elvie has caught a handful of important macro trends. “Number one is definitely a rise in conscious consumption,” said Nally. “Consumers are just much more mindful of what they’re buying – [they’re] striving to limit food waste, fast fashion and just shop more consciously and buy more sustainable options.”

The other is the growth and redefinition of wellness, as Euromonitor puts it. This means a greater emphasis on ideas like resilience, rather than health, as something that an individual periodically corrects when things go wrong.

Sourced from WARC