Selena Kalvaria, CMO of Away, says journey has shifted from the airplane overhead to the rear of the automobile

Few industries are as badly affected by the coronavirus crisis as the travel industry. Hotels, airlines, and cruise lines have seen revenue decline due to limited business and leisure travel around the world due to closed borders and public health mandates.

At Adweek's Commerce Week virtual summit, Selena Kalvaria, CMO of luggage startup Away, spoke to retail reporter Richard Collings about how the brand put the community first during the pandemic and refused to panic in the face of uncertainty to guess. She also outlined how traveling in the age of Covid-19 has become a new experience that the brand has come to appreciate.

"We had to decide very quickly how, and if at all, we could talk about travel," said Kalvaria. "We huddled together for the first week or two to see how the news went and to talk about what our role might be."

A shift that the brand noticed about the new normal: luggage needs have shifted from the aircraft above the head to the rear of the car.

Another thing Away had to deal with is that travel, as Calvary put it, is weird right now.

"It's weird to talk about, it's weird to share on your social channels," she said.

To address this uncomfortable reality, Away, in collaboration with artist Robert Beatty, created some psychedelic and fantastic illustrations to help capture the moment.

"We have everything you need to travel safely and securely, and we want travel to be the escape and still feel like a happy place," said Kalvaria. "It's kind of a juxtaposition with the strange, but we're here to get you through."

Check out the full conversation below.

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