The storm of COVID-19 will undoubtedly pass. However, the world it leaves behind will be, without a shadow of a doubt, a significantly different place. People all across the world will be thinking differently, behaving differently, and consuming in markedly different ways. Indeed, we have already seen the beginnings of this shift right across the board, and companies are – quite understandably – asking themselves how they can best survive in a post-pandemic world.
Here at Haus of Hendricks, we’re always positioning ourselves ahead of the curve, and we have the tools, skills, and creativity you need to gain the edge over your competitors during this challenging time. In times of great change, you need to be both agile and open to transformation. No matter what awaits, and no matter which way the wind starts blowing, our dedicated team of branding experts and marketing mavens are here to help you navigate that which lies ahead.
A Golden Opportunity for a Fresh Approach to Branding
If there has ever been a time to jump at the chance of rebranding, then this is surely it. Consumer behaviour never ceases to evolve, and yet coronavirus has expedited some aspects of that evolution. Some changes are clear to see, others are less so, and might only manifest in the years to come. As a brand, you have both a responsibility and a need to reflect those changes in order to maintain a loyal customer base (or establish a new one), and while rebranding may not solve all the issues that COVID-19 has wrought across pretty much every imaginable industry, it may help you weather the aftershocks of this long and arduous storm.
Now, perhaps more than ever before, empathy and putting consumer experiences first are the keys to rebranding and building that all-important consumer loyalty. Experts across the globe have predicted this trend to continue way beyond the pandemic, and those brands making a genuine effort to provide the best service possible in these trying times are already seeing brand loyalty increase. Brands able to maintain those high levels of engagement, transparency, and overall service are set to come out on top… and stay on top for the foreseeable future.
So, what should you be keeping in mind for your post-COVID rebranding? Let’s take a closer look at five essential tips to help you emerge during these difficult times.
Emphasize the Local
The world got smaller during the pandemic, and not necessarily in a bad way. The trend for local, regional, seasonal, and low-carbon footprint products and services may have started several years ago, but COVID-19 turned the trend into a necessity.
Brands that can heighten their links to their local or regional community or communities are likely to do well in this time, and successful rebranding efforts will focus on strengthening their local or regional networks and highlighting their willingness to slash their air miles.
Keep it Real
In fact, don’t just keep it real, but keep it unpolished, organic, and tactile. We’ve all come to see just how much is possible with those resources already at our disposal. This has led to the highlighting of real, emotional, and authentic stories travelling further and faster than the perfectly-polished branding efforts which went through months of production.
Trust in marketing has never been more important, and rebranding efforts that show their human side, connecting on a more human level are likely to do very well indeed. As such, smaller brands will have an unprecedented opportunity to get creative, and effectively compete with bigger companies.
Address the Reality
COVID-19 has changed the world, and it’s changed your industry, too. Any rebranding strategy that chooses to ignore the impact and reality of coronavirus would, most likely, is making a costly mistake – COVID-19 has become the zeitgeist, and sticking your head in the sand and pretending nothing has happened will do nothing more than making your consumers see you as aloof, even uncaring, in a time when empathy and connectivity is everything.
That’s not to say you should make coronavirus the heart of your rebranding; nobody likes a downer, after all. It just means that rebranding should be addressing certain aspects of this pandemic, such as the realisation of the importance of human contact, the yearning we’ve all felt for the things we’ve missed, and the positive steps your company can make to ensure a safer, brighter, more caring future.
Adapt Your Tone
The key to great communications strategy – and rebranding in general – during any crisis boils down to thinking about how you want your customers to feel, rather than focusing on the actions you want them to take. In essence, this is all about word choice, choice of medium, and tone.
How you adapt your brand tone and brand voice during this time is, at the end of the day, up to you. We’ve seen how multiple brands have taken a more personable approach, addressing the consumer like a friend, a loved one, or a relative. Others have focused on optimism, imbuing their messages with a more child-like sense of hope. Others still have explored a tone of defiance and stoicism. All are effective, and all avoid the temptation to be cynical… which, in the era of conspiracy theories and poor leadership, is the last thing anyone needs.
We’re all in need of an extra splash of colour, a moment of fun, or the chance to smile through this wholly stressful and worrying time. Rebranding with this in mind, and seeking out those opportunities to delight with your rebranding efforts, is likely to bring plenty of rewards… so long as it’s appropriate for your brand, and allows you to genuinely connect with the consumer with follow-up action.
Consumer delight comes down to exceeding expectations, and going above and beyond where you perhaps once were happy to simply meet their demands. COVID-19 has shown the world that more is possible, and consumers aren’t going to forget having their expectations met during this era. Ensure that flexibility and versatility becomes a key aspect of your brand promise and message, and look for ways to say ‘yes’ when ‘no’ was previously the default answer. Personalise your website or marketing material to new heights of individualisation, or offer freebies, birthday promo codes, or little surprises and moments of fun for your customers to get involved in.
- Have you established a branding road map that is as detailed as your business strategy, and will it help you navigate the uncertain times ahead?
- Have you redefined your value proposition post-pandemic, and are you ready to deliver the business transformations that will help you connect or reconnect to your customer base?
- Do you have a robust team in place to execute your branding needs, and which will enable the creative, bold, and innovative ideas required for a post-pandemic business landscape?
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Haus of Hendricks brings luxury branding to multidisciplinary projects, enriching businesses with design solutions that radiate success. In the pursuit of visual engagement, we channel the poetic, foster innovation, and throw open the doors of possibility.
With results-driven creativity and artful design, Haus of Hendricks curates high-end branding, marketing and organises events that inspire great change. From conception to completion, we forge narratives that bring customers to your door and provide graphic design, social content, and luxury packaging that sparks the imagination and cultivates success.