While there’s a lot of advice floating around out there about how to save, revive, restore, or reboot a business that is staggering under the weight of COVID-19.
Very few have been as resonant or straightforward as this recent summary by Bruce Levinson for Retail Customer Experience.
No matter where your brand is, how you’ve been affected – or how you feel about it – Levinson offers up a clear and ultimately, optimistic, reality check. My favorite paragraph serves as a critical reminder of the power each of us retains to reacquaint ourselves with our customers and their changing needs, take stock of our ability to deliver, and adjust as necessary:
“Continue the dialogue with consumers, connect with what is most important in their lives. If your brand has not done that yet, don’t worry. You can still be present, relevant, and helpful to consumers right now by understanding their new mindset and motivations in a post-crisis world. It’s never too late to be a positive force in consumers’ lives.”
Check it out below. And if you would like to know how Skybridge Americas can help you and your brand adapt to your customers’ needs and expectations, please reach out. We would love to talk!
7 ways to prepare your brand for the post-crisis world
By Bruce Levinson
Bruce Levinson, client partner at SGK, explains why retailers and brands should be listening intently to new consumer attitudes and deciphering emerging behaviors that can help them grow.
Today we are experiencing a watershed moment that will redefine what consumers look for in their brands and whether or not companies thrive or merely survive this crisis. Marketers looking to build resiliency across their marketing ecosystem should be listening intently to new consumer attitudes and deciphering emerging behaviors that can help them grow. The implications for brands are significant today and may become the new normal for some time.
Understand the current health of your brand
With new attitudes and actions emerging, this is the moment to perform your next strategic brand health check and explore how to pivot and grow in a post-crisis world. Marketers should work to understand whether the events of recent months present their brands with new growth opportunities or pose serious new challenges that must be addressed. For most brands, it will be a mix of both. Luckily there are ways to learn what’s working and not working to help inform your next brand imperatives.
Know the market you compete in
Before investigating your own brand, you’ll need a clear picture of the market at large. What has changed in the specific category your brand competes in? Is the figurative “pie” larger or smaller in terms of unit volume and value? Every category is unique and behaves differently. Air travel, for example, will be down on both volume and value, despite low fares. Paper goods, exercise equipment, baking supplies will all have behaved in different manners, and the short-term recovery, resiliency, and growth prospects for brands within them will also vary.
Quantify your new square one
With an understanding of the category dynamics, next determine how your brand’s share of volume and share of value changed and why. Did your brand perform better than competition behind a business advantage? Did it rise to the challenge and solve problems or deliver meaningful value when consumers needed support the most?
Successful marketers know that consumer perceptions are always changing, but disruptive events such as this crisis can accelerate behavior change. Now is the time to evaluate what went well (or not) and adopt new practices that reflect the current mindsets and behaviors to give your brand the best chance at success going forward.
A good place to start is with the key drivers of consumer trial:
- Rethink your brand proposition. Is your proposition as relevant and motivating now as it used to be? As consumers focus on self-protection and collective healing, brands should reflect the current climate rather than forge ahead with the same promises that may have worked in the past.A more delicate, empathetic voice is welcomed during a time of deep vulnerability. Brand marketers who understand the emotional need state of their consumers–and if and how it has changed — can successfully adjust messaging and tone accordingly.
- Enhance product distribution and availability. Are your brand’s products where they need to be? The answer to this question isn’t as simple as it used to be. With the rapid adoption of eCommerce, brands must have a comprehensive strategy, including visibility via optimized search, mobile imagery, accurate and current product detail, and appropriate metadata. Doing so will enable discoverability and buyability across the spectrum of established and emerging eCommerce channels.
- Optimize packaging. Create meaningfully differentiated packaging that supports your brand proposition and connects emotionally with consumers. Offer the right sizes and bundles for any new buying behaviors.Drive quality perceptions through graphics and typography that are appropriate for your brand. And do all of this in an agile, flexible, and efficient workflow that makes your hardest-working brand asset deliver the most equity possible with the least effort.
Senior Vice President, Sales and Marketing
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