Who could have predicted at the end of 2019 how much would change in a few months? And yet, here we are in the middle of May trying to formulate what a post COVID-19 future holds. One truth that is more relevant than ever is that change is the only constant, your brand strategy must evolve and that now is the time to look to the light at the end of the tunnel.
A NEW NORMAL?
Nobody at present knows what the new normal will be. But, as the philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche said “that which does not kill us, makes us stronger.” We now have the opportunity to discuss what we do know, how we can adapt to the shifting landscape and ensure we all emerge stronger on the other side.
The pandemic has put every brand’s 2020 plans into flux, and because it only takes three to six weeks to learn new habits, we know the crisis will have a lasting impact on consumer behaviour.
For now certainly, consumers’ priorities have evolved, as noted by Google search insights. People are replacing what they used to do outside with indoor options to deal with:
- Immediate needs
- New day-to-day requirements
- New emerging behaviours
This is an unprecedented shift seen across the world and across all sectors, driven by consumers’ everyday needs. Current predictions put home, health and humanity as top priority focus. At the same time, there has been a resurgence in demand for trusted brands.
As well as being the new home office, people’s homes have become a one-stop entertainment hub, a school room, a fitness space and above all a place for family. This shift is making us re-evaluate and redefine what is important and what brings us happiness.
So, how can your brand answer these new demands?
For people to leave the comfort of their homes, safety, hygiene and cleanliness are paramount. After this hurdle there is an increasing desire for nature and authentic, new experiences. Social media is awash with ‘missing my favourite place to eat out’, ‘hugs from my loved ones’ and ‘the next aisle I will want to walk down will be on a jet plane.’
HOW CAN BRANDS ANSWER THESE CRIES IN THE SHORT, MEDIUM AND LONG TERM?
Quite simply, it’s time to reimagine your business model and form a new brand strategy. Here are a few items to think about:
- Can you bring your brand experience into the home to satisfy a need?
- Think locally. Domestic demand will be the main source of financial growth for the foreseeable future. How can you serve these customers better?
- Think about channels. How have you been serving your customers historically? Is there a better way to serve them in their homes and/or locally?
- Brand Journey. Your customer’s journey and how they interact with your brand has shifted – are you serving this need?
- How can you build further trust in your brand by serving your customer needs in a new way?
HOW DOES THIS AFFECT YOUR BRAND STRATEGY?
Right now is not the time to advertise – rather, it is a time to stay in touch with your customers digitally, reiterate what makes your business or service unique in the market place and discuss how you can continue to serve their needs.
Online campaigns and interactions provide the perfect opportunity for digital agility. This can be utilised to recognise and react to ongoing trends and emerging behaviours, with each relaxation of lockdown measures.
The data sources currently available enable you to listen to your customer base now more than ever. One thing is certain, new trends will emerge and over the coming months your brand will need continue to evolve and pivot. Through these unprecedented times, we will all grow stronger together.
After the Spanish Flu pandemic, we had the Roaring Twenties. I, for one, am looking forward to the same, sat at my favourite bar with my favourite drink – freshly mixed and ready to be enjoyed without a mask in sight.
If you fancy a brainstorm Zoom to bounce around ideas on your evolving brand strategy, the team at IM are here to help. Drop us a line!