The covid19 pandemic has been a threat to the entire global economy and without a doubt; businesses took the biggest hit of all. While several brands already declared bankruptcy in the wake of eroding resources and dwindling assets, there are still many who would follow the same suit, provided the financial activities do not start the earliest.
That said, the road actually gets tougher from here.
The post-lockdown era will see brands competing frantically for attention and eventually, survival and growth will depend on the strategies, proactive approaches, and certainly capital infusion.
However, brands that are hard-pressed for finances can also get the ball rolling by making certain essential tweaks. Revaluating the branding strategy at this moment seems like a plausible way ahead. Moreover, the approaches enlisted here do not require massive capital infusion, but extensive levels of intuition and coherence with the changing times.
Here are the branding approaches that can help:
Realign Marketing Campaigns
The next few months or even years are going to be difficult for certain brands. Businesses at the forefront must realign their existing marketing strategies according to the pressing demands on the customers. It is necessary to understand that brand awareness is something that caters entirely to the customers and therefore every approach to branding must have them at the crux.
To start with, brands must immediately switch to OmniChannel marketing if they aren’t already using the same. This strategy will allow them to have personalized interactions with the customers.
At present, even the shoppers will have limited resources at hand and an OmniChannel marketing strategy and associated campaigns will allow brands to target the segments based on the resources. Therefore, it becomes possible for a brand to reach out to the desired customer base without resorting to ‘Spray-and-Pray’ marketing that costs more.
Another form of realignment is to add video marketing into the mix, and that too quite extensively. Even when the lockdown ends, social distancing will continue being a key norm. Therefore, people will start valuing online resources more than ever, especially videos.
Brands that are quickest to create video-centric identities will fare better in this keenly contested arena. Furthermore, it will work better if they can throw in certain safety and regulatory measures to handle the product and services, as a soulful branding approach, just to amplify the face value.
However, the post-lockdown video marketing strategy should be different than what it is at the moment and we will address the same in a separate discussion.
Highlight the Strengths of your Brand
Every brand adds value to the society. For example, the recently bankrupted brand, Gold’s Gym, focuses on keeping individuals fit and healthy. Therefore, in order to approach branding in a more intuitive manner, it is necessary to highlight the brand strengths, more than anything else.
From an economic perspective, brands can also put forth their contributions to the financial landscape. Moreover, it is necessary to shun the concept of niches and turn to a more micro-niche approach which only targets brand strength and not anything generic.
For instance, if a manufacturer deals in shoes, it must only brand his or her product on the basis on one unique characteristic that stands out, instead of talking about comfort, cost-effectiveness, accessibility— all at once.
Get a Well-Rounded CRM Tool
If a brand is looking to targeted different channels for propagating a sense of positivity, it must first consider a credible and power Customer Relationship Management platform. Having a CRM allows brand marketers acquire analytics and actionable data regarding customer lifecycle, funnels, and marketing cohorts.
CRM platform works towards segmenting the audience base while putting them into identifiable and homogenous groups. Furthermore, the built-in resources associated with the CRM target the specific groups and send across CTAs, emails, messages, offline invites, and more— therefore helping them with OmniChannel marketing; something we discussed before in this discussion.
In the post-lockdown era, CRM will be the best branding tool with a massive outreach.
Put Professionals at the Forefront
The covid19 pandemic has made us realize the power of the workforce and professionals. A good branding strategy after the lockdown will be to appraise the professionals and employees. A brand that will commemorate the workers will have a better brand identity, in the future.
Needless to say, people are moving towards a more empathetic way of leading lives and this is where professional appraisals will make a difference.
Brands that value their people are more likely to be loved. Not just that, apprised employees will add to the loyalty quotient and make sure the organizations grows beyond finite restrictions.
Readjust Product Offerings
In the next few months, customer requirements are expected to see a massive and unexpected change. Firstly, due to resource limitation, the focus will be on purchasing essentials rather than splurging on luxuries. Therefore, every brand must target the essential product segment and come up with something that fits the description.
For example, if you are a brand that only deals in luxury furniture, this might be the time to shift the focus towards functional workstations and regular household items that can cater to the professionals. While this doesn’t mean diluting the brand identity, it merely signifies finding a contingency plan to survive and make it big even during the challenging times.
Promote Philanthropic Activities
Brands need to invest time and money in philanthropic activities. Unlike a startup, brand owners have additional responsibilities towards the society.
Be it short term activities like feeding the impoverished for a month or more, or offering inexpensive life insurance for seniors over 85 in the neighborhood, no act of kindness is small enough during the testing times. The coronavirus pandemic has stripped many individuals of their livelihood and this even includes senior citizens who have no one to take care of them. Moreover, professionals who got laid off might not have the ability to take care of their parents and other elders at home.
A brand that can help these people survive will surely gain the customer trust and enhanced credibility in the long run. Another strategy that brand can use is to organize small fundraisers and discounted sales with the proceeds targeted towards the old age homes, wage workers, and more.
Make the Brand Essential by Focusing on Longevity
The success of a branding approach depends on how essential that brand can become. To start with, we are dealing with a massive health and economic crisis. Therefore, if the brand and the concerned products or services can relate to the health and economic remediation measures, it is bound to get the visibility it deserves.
While this approach might seem easier for branded pharmacies and hospitals, brands dealing in luxury and non-essential products might have to be more intuitive with the approach. For them, the road is tougher and the ability to establish themselves as an essential brand must pivot around solutions.
Even if product based relationships aren’t there to be found, the previous approach of indulging in philanthropic activities might just pave way for a brighter future for the brands.
Do Not Promote Fear
Certain brands might be lured into taking the advantage of the fear and panic to promote their products. However, there is a thin line between creating a sense of urgency and a sense of panic. Here is the point when the brand messaging becomes all the more important.
The idea in the post-lockdown period is to perpetuate a host of proactive measures and not dire consequences of not using the product. Fear is never a good motivator, especially if you are considering long-term brand visibility.
As a brand, you must be a visionary and not an alarmist, in the post-lockdown era. What works well for an established brand is to revisit the marketing and sales strategies and come up with innovative ideas that fit into the financial realm of the customers. If you, as a brand, are finding it hard to survive in this existing scenario after paying dues and salaries, you definitely have company. However, it is the grit, determination, and willingness to evolve that will take you through the hard times.