COVID-19 has reshaped how the world does - and thinks about - business. For the past few months, brands have been navigating shutdowns, lockdowns, shifting market forces, and drastically changing budgets and personnel requirements. But now that there's light at the end of the tunnel, it's time for your brand to shift its mindset from surviving to thriving. Here's how.
1 Simplify Absolutely Everything
Let's face it, after the travails of the coronavirus; your audience is fatigued, impatient, and unwilling to jump through hoops. This is your chance to rethink your brand identity, your product offer, your customer journey, and your marketing materials to ensure that every moment of friction, repetition, or confusion is ironed out. Streamline your website and messaging, combine too-similar products, and ensure that your sales funnel is optimized for complex, multi-channel experiences. If it's extraneous, get rid of it. As ad industry legend David Bell says, "If there is friction, you will lose. People aren't going to put up with it, and they'll take their business elsewhere".
2 Brand For A Brave New World
COVID-19 has changed everything - from how consumers find products, to how they're willing to spend, to what they expect from a brand. Simply switching your sign back on and pretending that life is back to the good old days is a recipe for disaster. Take some time to conduct some deep research into how your market has changed, how your competitors have repositioned themselves, and what your audience wants. You might be surprised to find that a few tectonic shifts have occurred. Taking the time to do this deep dive into your market will help you build a strategy that lets you come out ahead as the world reopens.
3 Learn to Live With Change
One of the biggest challenges of the past few months has been the uncertainty. On-and-off shutdowns, changing public safety requirements, and unprecedented changes in consumer behavior have found brands of all sizes in trouble. To thrive in an uncertain world, your brand needs to become both resilient and adaptive to change. This may mean building up liquidity, developing additional product or service lines, exploring new outreach and delivery options, and considering ways to scale your operations up and down at a moment's notice. Now might also be a good time to explore cutting overheads - for example, reducing office costs by shifting your operations to a coworking space instead.
4 Seize New Opportunities
Drastic change makes us get creative. Now is the time to consider risks in terms of their rewards. Infuse your brand with an entrepreneurial outlook, and encourage your employees to come to you with ideas, suggestions, or proposals. If you can, use this time to acquire great new talent unafraid of challenges or technology - and to expand the skills and capacity of your existing team. Make your default position "I'm interested" (assuming the strategy is there!), and you'll be positioning your brand to forge ahead.
No one knows what the next year or two is going to hold for us. But by shifting gears from pre-COVID norms to post-COVID ones, your brand will be in a position to take advantage of whatever the future brings.