Problem Solved #15: Marketing WeWork office space in a ‘stay at home’ world
To mark the launch of our new manifesto – setting out The Drum’s editorial mission to help readers solve their problems – we’re christening today Solutions Day on thedrum.com. And to set the tone, over the course of 24 hours our team of worldwide journalists will be spotlighting 24 recent examples of times when our industry demonstrated its remarkable talent for solving problems.
Problem Solved #15: how WeWork reinvented the way the world works after Covid-19
Problem: After a tumultuous 2019, WeWork was supposed to turn things around this year. However, it hadn’t taken into account that its business model would essentially cease to exist throughout the first half of the year. So, how do you sell workspace when people are still being advised to stay at home?
Solution: WeWork used its time wisely, reflecting on what the future of work will look like in a post-pandemic world. Mapping out where new opportunities could lie, it recognised the accelerated demand for flexibility and a rise in companies looking to downsize their premises.
Recognising the need to diversify its offering, WeWork has seen increased business from enterprises and from individual workers attracted by its subscription scheme. Here’s a closer look at its marketing turnaround:
Following guidance, WeWork worked hard making sure its premises are a space that is safe. It updated its comms to ensure it was reassuring its members and potential new members of the health and safety investments it made to its spaces.
With companies looking to downsize their offices, it repositioned WeWork in the ground between working from home and returning to the traditional office environment. Enterprise companies now represent 48% of the total 612,000 WeWork memberships. It accounted for more than 50% of WeWork’s core revenue for the first time in Q2 2020, with large companies accounting for 65% of its new customers in June.
Recognising an accelerated demand for flexibility, WeWork turned to subscriptions to drive growth. It has introduced its own subscription service called ’All Access’ that gives members entry to all of its 828 locations. It has also trialled an ’on demand’ option, which will afford non-members the ability to book workspace or conference rooms on an hourly or daily basis.
WeWork’s newly-appointed chief marketing officer, Roger Solé, explains: ”We’ve been working hard on designing what we think the future of work is and we think that WeWork is more relevant than ever.
”Our biggest business opportunity is with our biggest competitor... the traditional office space. We can actually help them reduce costs and, more importantly, offer a more flexible scheme. So our competition isn’t really a competition, it’s a transformation.”
Read more Problem Solved articles in our Solutions Day hub.