Five reasons your business should evolve during the pandemic
The current crisis could be the perfect time to rebrand your business
The coronavirus pandemic has touched us all in more ways than we ever could have imagined. From unprecedented restrictions on our freedom of movement to state-implemented economic intervention, it seems as though things may never truly go back to how they were at the start of 2020. Bizarrely, that makes it potentially the perfect time to rebrand and rethink your business. Hear us out.
As a society – one driven by business – we’ve learned a number of industry-altering lessons since the first UK lockdown started in March 2020. Sectors that seemed untouchable were suddenly rocked by uncertainty and brands we thought would stand the test of time reported losses their shareholders could never have seen coming. It’s a changed world for many businesses, who are either battling to survive under the severest of restrictions on their manufacturing, distribution and day-to-day operations, or enjoying a boom in popularity that’s already starting to attract competition.
In times like this, buzzwords like ‘pivot’ and ‘strategise’ start to infiltrate business columns and board meetings – but what does ‘pivoting’ actually look like when it comes to your brand? Should you strip away the old and wow customers with something new and shiny, hoping it’ll attract their attention away from competitors… or even just remind them you’re still around? Here are five big reasons this crisis could be the opportunity your business has been waiting for.
Embrace the uncertainty
Taking advantage of a seismic shift in market profitability and consumer behaviour is just good business sense – after all, how many opportunities do you get to roll out that long-gestating logo rebrand or key messaging whilst everyone’s attention is elsewhere?
Many businesses are busy making sure their assets are secure for the foreseeable, so a change in your branding and strategy could be welcomed rather than simply dismissed or copied. It’s a chance to make your mark on your own terms, rather than having your hand forced by a shift in an otherwise healthy market that has your team scrambling for solutions.
Your current customers matter
Brands live and die on the people who rely on them, so unless your business offers a service that’s been all but made obsolete by the coronavirus pandemic, someone somewhere still wants what you have to offer. That’s something to treasure, and a pivot in marketing or product strategy could make your current customers value you even more, as well as giving you the edge over your competitors.
Remember, innovation isn’t just about designing a new product or changing your branding: a new content strategy, showing how customers are using your product or service during the crisis and encouraging them to provide and share their content with the world, can increase your visibility and importance in the market without costing the earth.
A serious brand audit takes serious focus
When trade is steady, we often overlook those quietly important elements of our business. Perhaps you’re a business owner with the majority of staff on furlough – using this time for activities you might have long put off, or not even considered, can pay dividends. When was the last time you looked at your branding critically, checked in on the effectiveness of your website copy in generating new leads, or identified the weak points in your communications strategy?
These things may not matter to you right now, but they’re likely to become more glaring as time goes on, and the current situation could be the opportunity to focus on key issues that would otherwise take your attention away from demanding daily decisions.
The market landscape is changing apace
When something as unprecedented as the Covid-19 outbreak happens, it makes changes to our world that we’d never have considered. This is especially true for businesses offering a service that other businesses have realised they can pivot to offer when times are tough: see dine-in-only restaurants now offering hitherto-unavailable takeaway and delivery services, directly competing against urban takeout stalwarts whose menus often mimicked those of their rivals precisely because they knew these businesses didn’t offer anything other than seated service. After all, catering for delivery services is inconvenient and costly when you’re running a restaurant, but easy when your venue is closed and you’ve got a series of fully-operational kitchens and staff who are used to getting meals out at speed.
When the market demands a change, businesses are the ones that need to respond. If not, it’s virtually guaranteed that another business will launch or rebrand to take the consumer demand from right in front of you.
You might not have a choice
Business is hard, and life is frequently unfair – just ask some of the small businesses who’ve seen their niche sectors infiltrated by bigger brands with more funding who have the capability and clout to take it from them.
The kind of crisis we’re in can show up certain market demands we always knew were there, but never truly appreciated: see the sudden dependency on the oft-overlooked delivery sector, which now tackles the high demands of both retail and commercial customers under scrutiny it’s never experienced before.
Taking the time to look at your business and understand where it’s going can prompt a determination to refocus that’s never been harder to ignore. Now more than ever, responding to market trends – such as recognising certain essential or on-trend products you could potentially offer, or identifying how your brand’s visual identity has drifted away from its core values or needs of its primary customer base – puts you in a greater position of power… not just for the short term, but once this current state of global upheaval has settled into something we can all agree is the ‘new normal’.
Thinking about your brand in a new way this year?
Think! Associates is offering a Brand Review to businesses who are reassessing their market position in light of the Coronavirus pandemic. A Brand Review aims to understand the effectiveness of your business by combining a range of objective observations, factual data and marketing analysis.
Your Brand Review will show how your brand aligns to its key goals and determine where, when and how much you need to invest in your brand – saving you valuable time and money, and establishing long-term changes to put into practice right now.
Ready to explore the possibilities of your business? Get in touch today to find out what happens next.