Extraordinary times produce extraordinary opportunities.
In uncertain times like these, Brands are more valuable than ever as consumers look to trusted brands and companies for guidance. Right now, brands should be reviewing their brand missions and gaining a true understanding of WHY they are in business, and more importantly, understanding WHAT is the true nature of their business.
A restaurant is in the food business, but what they may really be selling is emotional nourishment by creating a place where families and friends interact with one another. A bank lends money, but what they really do is provide a sense of security and genuinely create and support entire communities. Brands should leverage these provided EMOTIONAL benefits and use them as guideposts to innovation.
Right now, our clients must focus, innovate or pivot in order to take advantage of the opportunities and meet the challenges that this BRAND-New normal environment is producing. Focus on what they do best, deliver on the core value they provide their customers. This is not the time to get distracted, drift or panic. Government mandates on travel and social distancing mean brands must develop innovative delivery systems, new ways of packaging their products or services, or discovering new ways consumers can use their products. If necessary, or if a brand sees a new opportunity, they may have to pivot from providing one product/service to a different one.
This could potentially hurt your current brand, so it is imperative to have a genuine understanding of what business a brand really is in, what its vision is and what are the brand’s core values. They should serve as the underpinnings of any new product or service provided to ensure the brand stays true and viable.
Social Media is a great conduit for brands to use to build and maintain relationships with their customers. Our clients are using social media to stay in contact with their customers and to attract new customers. We are fortunate that this crisis comes at a time when the pitfalls of social distancing can be mitigated through online social interactions. Entire communities can be formed online. Now is the time that brands should leverage their brand equity and goodwill they have with their customers and use that as a foundation to bring their brand values to life.
Our client’s own customers can be coordinated and mobilized to make a real difference and impact within their own communities. Community-wide efforts can be made to check on elderly neighbors, support health workers and their families, spur on local donations, spearhead drives for much needed supplies and support local businesses.
We are encouraging our clients to think about what consumers need right now and what they may need over the next few months. Some initial thoughts include;
• Emotional support
• Access to services
• A sense of community and belonging
• Ready cash to pay fixed costs
How can our clients deliver?
Banks and Credit Unions: Support local small businesses via newly developed loan packages and federal loan programs, small business product/service bundles. Support the community by maybe creating a “food bank” for healthcare worker families; highlighting the fact that home equity lines are a great way to generate an emergency fund if needed.
Retailers: Many retailers are promoting the fact that “We are here for you,” but a real challenge they face may be distribution of their goods/ discounted shipping offers. Delivery services may be worthwhile as are online web special and discounts and developing a faster e-commerce experience.
Food Services: Restaurants, caterers and food purveyors need to create new ways of delivering products to their customers. Meals to go, free curbside pickup and home delivery are just some of the options. Many of these companies can provide free lunches to healthcare workers and their families, refreshments to those folks waiting in lines for testing, meals for recently displaced workers and community outreach. For example, scheduled online cooking classes.
To sum up, all of our clients are being challenged in one way or another. This can be a difficult time for your business but those who step up their brand will be stronger when the crisis is over. If you would like a free consultation, feel free to reach out to us.