OK – it’s more than fair to say that 2020 didn’t turn out quite the way any of us planned. With the COVID-19 pandemic causing disruption in every country, across every industry, and in every economy, you’d be forgiven for thinking that this isn’t the time to start planning big and expanding your horizons.
However, the economic and business uncertainties brought about by coronavirus present opportunities alongside their limitations. In fact, the fluctuations we’re all seeing right now, and the lockdowns we’ve all had to live through, should be providing the chance, the time, and the motivation to take a second look at your strategies. It’s not business as usual… and that’s precisely why this might be the perfect time to ride the storm, and break out some bold decisions.
Routines, lives, and markets have been impacted by coronavirus. When people feel this kind of insecurity, and when businesses feel financially threatened, it’s understandable that shopping and services slip down the priority list. What does this actually mean for your brand and business? It means, in essence, that unless you carefully re-examine your brand strategy, your potential for growth and expansion is under siege.
Can Your Brand Grow During the Pandemic?
Well, we can’t say a definitive ‘yes’, but we can give you a strong ‘maybe’. Volatile economies are well known for creating opportunities with one hand, while deal destruction with the other. Depending on the industry your brand sits within, some losses are always going to be unavoidable. For smart entrepreneurs, and for brands open to reinvigoration and evolution, there are doubtlessly chances to minimise losses, capitalise on opportunities, and make consolidations, mergers, and acquisitions happen.
This isn’t about taking advantage of the vulnerable or heading down the murky path of disaster capitalism. It’s about making brand strategy decisions that will leave your brand stronger, better equipped, and better positioned for success at the end of these challenging times. No matter what approach you decide to take, it’s vital to make data-driven decisions and to trust the expertise of brand managers accustomed to helping businesses find their voice in an ever-changing world.
Don’t forget: if your competitors are simply waiting out the storm while demand for services continues, this is a golden opportunity to create some distance between your brand and the competition, adopt an opposite approach, and let the world know you’re up for the challenges that face your industry. If you can adapt, evolve, and rebrand to deal with a transformed market, or show resilience by investing in updated marketing that reflects these times… well, you might just be onto a winner.
Brand Strategy for Post-Pandemic Growth
Let’s not beat around the bush: if your brand strategy previously relied solely on brick-and-mortar stores, face-to-face meetings, packed events, or crowded trade shows, it’s probably time to sit down at the drawing board, call in a brand agency, and re-evaluate your marketing strategy.
With cities in lockdown, people in isolation, and the public feeling nervous about heading back out into town, the internet has become – even more than before – central to all of our lives. This is a fantastic chance to take your digital communication and online branding to the next level, as your customers will be seeking ways to improve their lives via their smartphones and laptops. Simply put, if you’ve got a brand which emphasises its digital marketing strategy, you’re in a better position to get through this strengthened and intact.
If you’re lagging behind in this respect, or it’s something you’ve been putting off for some time, then this is the moment to get in touch with Haus of Hendricks and see how our team can assist you in reimagining your brand for the socially-distanced era. With a wealth of experience in helping top brands establish and re-establish themselves, and reach new audiences while staying true to their message, our dedicated branding and design experts are on hand to help you grow.
Key Questions to Ask When Reaching Your Customers Online
If you’re yet to invest in an omnichannel online marketing strategy – complete with consistently aligned messaging, and the option to provide customer experience across a multitude of channels and platforms – then it isn’t too late to begin. If anything, now is the perfect time to make those investments; you’ll gain a competitive edge while those around you are waiting for times to change.
Here are some key questions we’d encourage you to ask yourself regarding your brand’s online capabilities.
- Do you have a refreshed social media campaign that engages your potential customers, and reflects the changed times they’re living in?
- Does your business have an online presence that’s up to date, and reflective of your brand values?
- Do you have an intuitive and user-friendly online interface?
- Is your search engine optimisation up to scratch, thus helping potential customers find you with ease?
- Does your website deliver a superior user experience that is easily navigable?
Now Is the Time to Grow Your Customer Relationships
It may seem to you that your brand is already doing all it can to acquire new customers. However, we’d once again remind you that times have changed, and your customer base may be looking for a brand experience that is somewhat different than what they desired six short months ago.
Furthermore, it’s easy to forget that retaining existing customers, and communicating with loyal customers, is every bit as important as gaining new ones. As with everybody else, your existing clientele’s expectations may have shifted in the pandemic, and they’ll be expecting a more profound and personalised consumer experience in this new world we’re all inhabiting.
The bottom line is this: the coronavirus crisis has shown the general public – your target audience included – that they can and should expect more from the brands they choose to follow. They want more customisation, more personalisation, and they want to feel more valued as consumers. If you’re able to make even small steps and gestures to increase this feeling of closeness with your brand, you’re likely to see a big return on that investment. Word-of-mouth recommendations and brand loyalty have perhaps never been more important to foster, after all.
Here are five ways your brand strategy can maintain and improve your customer relationships, and begin showing your clientele that you’re all in this together.
- Make your social content matter! Deliver timely and relevant content that addresses your customers directly, and keeps their short and long-term challenges in mind.
- Ensure it’s easy for your clientele to contact you. Whether that’s by telephone, via virtual meetings online, or with live chat options, your customers will feel better if you’re always within reach.
- Deepen your consumer relationship by tailoring and customising services and products where possible, and asking for feedback on new products and services which can be developed.
- Be responsive to all customers, no matter which channel they choose to use.
- Keep it real – this is the time for organic, homely, and comforting content rather than anything too slick, polished, or aloof.
The coronavirus pandemic isn’t going to get easier overnight, and we all know that not every brand is going to have the agility or versatility to be able to get through this difficult and unpredictable time.
However, with the right guidance, the right vision, and by investing in brand strategy when you need to gain the edge over your competitors, you’re giving yourself a fighting chance when others will be hedging their bets. At Haus of Hendricks, we’re committed to thinking outside the box when it comes to forging relationships between brands and their customers, and we’re ready and waiting to take on the challenges that 2020 is continuing to bring.
- Are you prepared to reappraise your social media content, and find new ways to connect to your audience?
- Can your brand redirect funds to strategic planning and expansion during this time?
- Are you able to put a plan in action to move the majority, if not all, of your operations online for the foreseeable future?
- Are mergers and acquisitions more affordable at this time? If so, do you have the time and capability to follow them up?
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