BY- Jon Michail
We do not live in the same world as we did before this health and economic crisis and just like many other things the ways you can brand and market yourself and your business has changed too. The lives of many people have changed, be it some losing their jobs or working from home in ways that are completely new to them. As a result of disruptions these people have new needs and view various marketing and promotions differently. The way you market your brand during this time and beyond could be what makes or breaks your business.
If the way people live their lives and the way they work has changed, it is common-sense that the ways to market your business to these people need to change too. You cannot use the same marketing and branding techniques from before and think they will yield positive results, what’s even worse is those old techniques could rather destroy your brand and business.
This is the best time to re-position your brand! In order to be successful in a crisis, you need to adapt to the situation, market and brand your business in ways that are catered specifically to bring the best results for your customers during a crisis while still being not moving away from your core values and beliefs.
I have come up with the following list of 5 tips for marketing in times of ‘isolation’ that will truly take you and your business to the next level-
1) Double up on your messaging while your competitors retreat
People are shell-shocked and many businesses have gone quiet and lost their customer base; this is the right time where you should really push for your brand to be the one people remember for years to come. Be creative and reach out to existing and potential customers with ways you can make a positive difference to their lives in this crisis, no matter how small or big a difference it is.
Do not try to engage with customers for the sake of it and batter them with generic ‘COVID-19 content’. This is where you need to understand what your customers really need now and how your business can innovate its products and services to cater to their needs now and in the near term. This will help you become a bigger player in the market while your competitors fight for bare survival.
2) Identify new customers
It is absolutely critical that you expand your client pool right now and be open to changes in your marketing techniques for that. This is an unprecedented time and you need to reach out to newer markets. You can do it either by adding a new product or service or innovating your existing ones so your brand and business is successful in attracting a completely new set of customers.
This is a fantastic opportunity albeit a forced one for your business to evolve, increase its client pool and expand your business to new arenas that will hold you in good stead for long-term success.
3) Over-deliver on your promise
Don’t screw around. If there was ever a time for top quality customer service, it is now. This is not a time to cut corners and manipulate your customers for short-term benefits. This will yield nothing but disastrous results, you do not want your brand or your business to be known as the one who took advantage of the situation and exploited vulnerable people for their gain.
This is a time to go out of your way to truly make a positive difference to your customers, even if it means you have to cut back on your profits. You should over deliver to your customers if that is what is needed, don’t look at the customer as another number, humanize them and analyze what your business can do to make their lives easier during his craziness.
4) Form alliances with other businesses
Many other businesses are going through tough times right now. However, there are certain businesses who share a similar vision, values and beliefs as you do. These are the businesses you should explore to see whether you could form alliances or partnerships with them to add new elements to your existing products and services or even come up with newer ones specifically to make the lives of people better during and after this crisis.
It is critical for you to understand that there are other businesses that could help your business and your brand during this time. You can form long-term partnerships that will add new layers to your business, making it more attractive to customers while also opening up new markets for you.
5) Connect with the right cause
This is the time where you need to go beyond just conducting business as usual. There is no doubt your business could have suffered heavy losses but if you can you should contribute to a social cause that aligns with your values and beliefs.
What’s even better is you can through your business use your products and services to contribute positively and help the people who need it the most right now. This could be anything like free short online sessions to prepare people that have lost their job for a new job, give away free meals to the most vulnerable in the society or hold free online mental health check-ups.
Times are tough for most people and businesses right now, but more than the financial profits, this is a time when as a business you should connect with the right cause if you can. It might not result in any short-term profits but people will remember you, your business and your brand, which will lead to long-term success.
At the end of the day, you have to understand that things have changed and you have to be creative and be innovative in the way you market and brand your business right now.
Most importantly, you have to be authentic and analyse the ways your business can make a positive difference to your customers’ lives right now. This will not only result in success for your business during a crisis but also for many more years to come!
I’d love to know what you are doing to market your business during this crisis.
Jon Michail | Image Consultant | Personal Branding Coach | Business and Personal Branding Strategist | Author | Group CEO and Founder, Image Group International | Image Group International are Entrepreneurial Activists… Rebels With a Cause Jon Michail, Founder and award-winning Chief Imagemaker together with his team at Image Group International help executives, entrepreneurs and changemakers to build, grow and monetise their personal brands, (online and offline) by positioning them to stand out so they attract their ideal clientsconnections and investors. They are committed to maximising an individual’s personal impact, influence and value in the ever-changing and disruptive business environment. Image Group International is recognised as Australia’s leading personal brand image advisory, with over 31 years of proven results including China and South East Asia.