The consumer behaviour and requirements have changed drastically since the pandemic. Between December 2019 and now, a lot has transformed. The basic pillars of marketing remain the same, but the playbook is different. Creative and branding agencies have adapted their strategies to the new normal to help businesses not only sustain but thrive.
Of course, the customer remains at the forefront of every marketing move but the approach is focused on providing value and changing position. Times are uncertain, so to establish a connection with customers is fundamental. Embracing the new marketing truths is the only way to get through these times and pivoting rapidly has helped businesses keep their head above water.
So, let’s dive into what’s changed!
- Brand Positioning
With brick-and-mortar shops closing in the lockdowns, there was no more enticing customers through passing visuals and hoping for impulse buys. It is more like brands reaching customers on their doorstep which in real life seemed more possible by going digital. From grocery shops to fashion brands, all started selling exclusively online.
Employing the services of a reputed digital marketing agency to set up your shop online is the way to go. Positioning your brand online, where your customer can find you through tools like Google Search, Yelp, Just Dial etc. has led the way to a digital transformation.
Setting up a website for people to order online and giving easy, secure modes of payment options are vital to sustenance. Building a unique customer experience online made brands stand out. Like, giving options for chat, online assist, offers on special days, etc. provide excitement and personalize the shopping experience.
- Brand Value
Associating with certain values of a brand is what leads to brand loyalty. Now that the experience has changed, the values have to evolve too.
For example, a fine dine restaurant had a lot to offer in the form of décor, ambience and gracious service. But the pandemic took away the personal interaction. So, the restaurants adapted to giving partially cooked meals with ingredients for a unique dining experience at home.
Customers demanded hygiene, safety and convenience and that is exactly what many restaurants delivered. They brought a delicious change to a tiring, lockdown schedule for customers at home with this delivery service.
On the other hand, designers started selling outfits with matching masks and provided the convenience of safe, sanitized delivery. Grocery shops provided doorstep delivery and even the hospitality industry came up with options of safe, weekend stays with in-room dining.
Breaking the monotony of pandemic life was possible without breaking the norms!
- Brand Tone
With reduced human interactions and stress of the pandemic, consumers began seeking empathy from brands. Adapting the voice of the brand to this new consumer requirement has become vital.
It is no longer just your product or service, consumers want more. People loved the Superbowl commercial that thanked doctors and nurses. So, businesses must deliver the message that they are keeping consumer needs above profits.
In these uncertain times, consumers crave truth, authenticity and reliability of information. If brands can adapt their tone to include these qualities, they will no doubt flourish. There is a risk of overdoing it obviously, making brands seem opportunistic and selfish, which is a case that often happens with ‘moment marketing’.
Consult the best branding companies around you for handling such marketing moves for your business.
- Brand Operations
Along with positioning, voice and value comes brand operation. The quaint pizza place near you that had its small kitchen hidden in a corner has now made the wood fired oven the face of brand operations.
With focus on deliveries and takeaway, the smell and production visuals have been good senses to capitalize on. As is accessibility. More customers know there is a delicious and clean bakery nearby when the smell of fresh bread and cookies is wafting from the open or floor level kitchens.
Clothing brands have shifted operations towards more storage and faster shipping than in-store display efforts.
- Promoting Positivity
The pandemic is a global health crisis – both physical and mental. Social distancing, quarantines and travel restrictions are keeping people away from each other and they are seeking opportunities for interactions. With stress levels at an all-time high, brands should focus on promoting values like positivity and togetherness.
So, if you are a creative agency building a brand for your client, you should look for ways to shift the focus away from the dreariness of the lockdowns and engage with your audience. Create podcasts, celeb interviews, Q&A sessions and more to connect with customers at a deeper level.
Such steps for building customer relationships will go a long way in promoting brand awareness and loyalty.
- Listening to Customers
It goes without saying that any brand will survive only as long as it is listening to its consumers and adapting to their changing requirements. By evolving, businesses have made sure they are not left behind.
Brands have to be agile and innovative. Keep up with the latest trends. If you are an internet providing company, come up with plans to assist learn from home and work from home. If you are a food delivery app, come up with some easy recipe videos or comedy videos to engage your customers through the app. Shoe brands like Nike held free online training videos and saw an 83% increase in online sales.
- Standing for a Cause
The digital generation is quite vocal about social issues and global crisis. They expect their preferred brands to have a voice too. Many brands take a stand even on political issues.
So, if you really want to create a stir, then stand for a cause that aligns with your brand values. You can promote vaccination and donate to healthcare.
If your brand is environmentally conscious and is taking steps towards sustainability, then talk about the issues and what you are doing differently. People are more likely to buy from you, if they feel their money is going for a good cause too.
The pandemic has proved to be a pivotal moment in history and has challenged branding in more ways than imaginable. But with the right strategy and adjustments, a branding agency can give your business a great boost.