How can I keep moving my brand forward?
Wondering what’s next for your business and brands generally?
Truth be told, no one seems to really know.
Aside from banning the word ‘unprecedented’ for all of eternity and continuing to follow safety regulations for the foreseeable, much of the future for businesses (and the world) is unknown.
However, that doesn’t mean brands should stand still in fear of doing the wrong thing. Although there is still a lot of uncertainty, (probably another word that will result in being added to the business burn book eventually) there is also a lot to be learned and a whole new prospective to be had.
So how can you keep your brand moving forward without risking your reputation or falling by the wayside?
Here’s what we do know…
Okay, so we may have stolen that from another campaign, but it’s pretty relevant for the business world too.
Following in the footsteps of other brands who are reacting quickly to events will mean you are too late. Yes, it is important to follow what others are doing, but use it more to reassure yourself that you’re moving along the ‘correct’ path and help position yourself within the market. You need to be innovative and highly reactive to the new trends taking place. Be an early adopter.
Stay on top of the news, industry leading platforms and keep monitoring your own data to watch for trends. If your audience appear to be engaging in slightly different services, products or content than they were a week or two ago, it’s probably a sign that mentality is shifting and so should you.
Consider what your customers’ next steps might be and therefore how their needs will change.
One that has been prevalent from the beginning, is the importance of brands staying human and authentic. It’s an approach that many brands have been shifting towards for a while now, but it has been thrust to number one on the priority list and it doesn’t look set to be downgraded anytime soon.
People need people and brands that are speaking on a customer level, sharing their hard truths, fears and satire are already coming out on top.
Brands’ latest shift to humour brings some much-needed light relief (taking over from the earlier emotive, empathetic marketing approach we saw a lot of) and can be used to humanize businesses. KFC’s latest ‘we’ll take it from here’ ad is a perfect example of this as is Italy’s Burger King advert for the new Whopper with extra onions to help with social distancing. Touché!
Care for your customers.
This is an obvious one and one it’s wise to follow regardless of a global pandemic, but one worth reiterating.
Following on somewhat from being authentic, brands need to continue supporting their customers, especially loyal ones.
People are likely to be forced to make decisions based on finances and are also likely to be purchasing differently. Seasonal trends might not be as reliable as they once were, so it is more important than ever to treat your current and new customers well, as well as being seen to be doing so.
Good customer service leads to loyal customers who become advocates of your brand. Reliability, trust and personal recommendations are key factors in why people will choose you over competitors. Focus on the middle of the funnel.
Dig your data.
This relates back to staying alert and keeping an eye on trends, but specifically focuses on the data you have access to.
Analytics for your website and your sales figures are great for analysing how your customers are using your website, how they are finding out about you, who they are and your conversion rate etc etc, but often simple insights from your social channels are overlooked.
Now is the time to ‘dig your data’ and monitor it constantly. If you’re noticing a certain type of content is getting higher engagement or even a certain type that isn’t, act upon it. Even if it means doing something completely different to how you have done it in the past, learn from and react to your data. All of it.
In a nutshell…
There isn’t a one size fits all answer, but then there hasn’t ever been. Now is the time to revaluate your core business values and next steps and really pay attention to the certainties you do have, such as your data.
Try not to hide in the shadows of your competitors and wait for others to make the first move, but be sensible and measured in your approach.
Watch for trends and read the signs. Act upon them quickly and with confidence.
Above all, be human, look after your customers and stay visible to keep moving your brand forward.
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