Managing your company’s brand can be challenging depending on your niche, competition, and other circumstances, and this was true even before there was a global pandemic making things even more difficult. Most of us have heard of (but hopefully never experienced) missteps that cause serious reputation issues for a brand.
With the “new normal” we are facing, several parts of this shift that require businesses to change their approaches. You need to adopt new strategies to continuously protect your brand.
1. Check Your Business’ Current Situation
As with any project, you have to first identify your starting point. Conduct quarterly audits of your marketing efforts to help with strategy development. Look at your brand mentions in social media, review listings, page ranking, and organic traffic data.
You should be able to spot negative indicators easily. Look for any outliers, either positive or negative, and handle them independently. Are you seeing a trend developing? Consider this as a major contributor to brand name protection.
Before the pandemic, it was wise to conduct a brand image evaluation quarterly. However, when either a business or society, in general, is in crisis, frequent audits are critical in establishing new and more appropriate strategies.
2. Think About Your Clients
During this crisis, everything you know about your customers may have changed. Their needs, priorities, buying power, mobility, and receptiveness to your marketing efforts are likely to shift due to a number of factors. They are probably frustrated and preoccupied with other matters. To protect your brand, you may have to remove or adjust your existing ads or campaigns to make them relevant and tonally acceptable during the pandemic (or any future crisis that calls for adaptation).
For example, if you are an insurance company, funeral service, or childcare services, your campaigns must not be perceived as feeling unconcerned or opportunistic.
Your customers may be hypersensitive because of the stress caused by the pandemic. You will probably benefit the most from an empathetic approach. Make them feel that you not only understand their situation but that your company has also adjusted to accommodate them.
If possible, offer a new level of service that can satisfy their unique needs during this trying time.
3. Know When to Cut Back or Expand Your Efforts
During COVID-19, some businesses were forced to let go of some staff, curtail marketing efforts, and postpone or completely cancel events. Those who experience financial constraints will naturally look for ways to cut as much marketing budget as possible, including ads, to remain viable until matters improve.
Still, this situation also provides an opportunity for those who can afford to reposition themselves in new markets, give their brand a facelift, or simply up their game to jump ahead of the competition, especially when this crisis ends.
Finding a way to fill a gap in the market can help protect your brand. Check what new needs are not being serviced and consider whether you can add or transition into a service or product. Of course, this will go unnoticed without marketing. You will have to prepare to put it in front of people. Just remember that your campaigns will need adjustments.
One great example of an adjustment you can make is adding home delivery or curbside pick-up. This may work not only for restaurants but also for other fields of business. This will make your customers feel a great sense of security as they can either stay home and make a purchase, or not have to get out of their car, easing social distancing concerns. This likewise keeps your relationship going, which should be one of your ultimate goals during a crisis.
Now is also the best time to finish any tasks you haven’t had the chance to do. Website redesign, for example, may be in order, as many shoppers are shifting online almost exclusively. Working on a more user-friendly page and perhaps a new, timelier logo can help with your marketing strategies during the pandemic. Producing relevant and interactive content may also be a good alternative to more expensive ads.
Maybe billboards and other ads worked wonders for you in recent years, but with very few people going out these days, social media might be the best choice for marketing now.
Advanced Digital Media Services offers several services that can help you with brand name protection. From web design to content creation and social media marketing, we can help!