2020 has been a year of shifts and changes. For too many brands it's also been a year of being on standby. We understand wanting to know where things are headed before diving back into doing business. There's risk in taking that leap. But there's also a risk in sitting out for too long - you don't want to be like those people who took their money out of the market after 2008 and missed out on the massive gains we've seen since then. If you try to wait until you have all the information, or until the uncertainty has passed, your brand will be left on the sidelines.
Here's how to make sure that 2021 is all about forward momentum for your business.
Identify Changing Habits
The nation has been in quarantine mode for going on a year. During this time we've all made changes to how we live, work and play. These changes to our routines, habits, and preferences present an opportunity for your business. Research what's happening in your target demographic and consider how you can pivot your offering to meet the needs of a behavior shift. Do you need to beef up your eCommerce presence? Switch to a direct-to-consumer model? Adjust your subscription model options? Expand your product line to accommodate the fact that people are working from home? Identify the opportunity and start working to meet these new demands.
Listen to the Data
Data is king in this brave new world. Take a deep dive into your website analytics, business performance, and social listening stats to see that these data can tell you about the year ahead. If you're suddenly seeing traffic from new regions or demographics, adjust accordingly. If your social data reveals negative or positive sentiment around certain topics or themes, consider course-correcting accordingly. It's also vital that you zoom out to consider your data over the long-term - this will help you determine what's of true importance and what's just noise arising from the market uncertainty we saw earlier this year.
Rethink Your Operations
It's not just consumer shifts your business needs to adapt to in 2021. With remote working, reduced foot traffic, and a move to primarily online operations, chances are that you need to rethink your business operations as well. If your business is spending a fortune on overheads like a luxury downtown office space, it's worth thinking about downsizing, subletting, or moving out altogether. Other changes may include adjusting your hours, reshuffling responsibilities, and changing how you approach tasks such as meetings, sales, and project management. Get this right and you'll cut costs, drive up productivity, and keep your clients or customers happy.
Keep Building Your Brand
Pivoting to meet the needs of the market is one way to build a resilient business. Focusing on shoring up your brand is another. With so much change underway, it's as important as ever to clearly position yourself, create an unforgettable brand identity, and communicate your value. Now is the time to be reflecting on your brand's purpose, values, and look and feel - and to make sure that you're strongly poised to lead in your niche. Update your website, refresh your brand identity, and develop a solid marketing strategy that will send loyal fans your way.
It's Time to Move Forward
2020 has been a challenging year for most businesses. But with uncertainty comes opportunity - and the possibility that your brand can shine in this new market landscape. If you want to leap back into what you do best, but you're not sure what's the right move for your brand, get in touch. We're here to talk about how you can thrive in 2021 and beyond.