How brand can rescue post-covid business.

Covid-19 has created pandemonium in the world of business. We are experiencing fundamental change in marketplaces, and with client behaviours – forcing us to seek new and innovative ways to operate, and to attract new business.

A defining factor – and one that should be at the very core to driving positive evolution with your business activity – is your brand!

The Pandemic has driven a tsunami of change in the world of business – with companies realising staff are just as effective working from home, client meetings becoming screen face-to-face appointments, and customers purchasing products and services online more than ever before. The world has been forced to learn about life
in the digital realm.

This new age of being (or the new normal), has resulted in a revolution of independence amongst the masses. Those businesses who are capitalising in this shift of behaviour, have realigned their brands and marketing solutions to speak directly to the enterprising audience.

One of the first big brands to address the change, and successfully communicate with the customer, was B&Q, with its ‘Build a Life’ campaign.

This new brand purpose has been brought to life with a campaign of designs that marry together imagery of everyday DIY products with powerful statements inspired by life at home and home improvement.

The design look and feel follows a disruptive approach, celebrating B&Q’s famously orange look and feel within a fresh stripped back style for the brand. B&Q marketing director Chris Graham said;

“We believe that anyone can improve their home to make life better. It’s precisely this insight that makes us so proud and privileged to be a business where we can help people shape the homes that mean so much to them. We learned how they improved them, and how they became places were important life moments were created. We hope the campaign reminds everyone of the magic and power of home improvement to do so much more than build a home.”

B&Q’s immensely successful campaign is directly attributed to the businesses willing to review the brand and what it stands for, and then evolve its identity and marketing strategy to interact with the societal change.

Brands upping their game.

Covid-19 has pushed businesses to their limits and has seen some of the industry’s biggest names struggle to adapt to life as we now know it.

Whilst this seismic shift has been disconcerting for some, others have rose to the occasion with finesse. The transition to digital channels has been underway for years and the arrival of coronavirus is now the catalyst, accelerating this process.

As we rethink the very structure of our society; how we work, live and interact, we similarly see a significant change in consumer habits and needs that brands have to now adapt to meet.

“It is this crucial adaptability that decides your brand’s success or downfall in a post-lockdown market.”

Below are a few brands that are getting it right during lockdown, and how they are doing it.

Airbnb

The travel and tourism sector has been hit hard by lockdown restrictions. In the absence of travel, marketing communications for the industry have instead focused on inspiring customers.

Airbnb is offering virtual experiences that people can engage with from home during the coronavirus lockdown.

It aims to give hosts a way to continue to earn an income during the pandemic.

Online experiences take place via Zoom, with Airbnb providing hosts free access to the video-conferencing platform and support services for curating, capturing and sharing their experience.

Experiences include; meditation with Buddhist monks, virtual visits with the dogs of Chernobyl and family cooking in Morocco. Guests can also connect with athletes including Olympic medallists Alistair Brownlee and Lauren Gibbs.

Homebase

The home renovations store has beaten off competitors for its responsiveness during Covid-19. Initially pivoting all of its sales online, Homebase has been praised for its digital strategy, maintaining frequent and thoughtful engagement with its consumers via email and social media.

Amidst the easing of lockdown restrictions, the store quickly communicated and enforced social distancing rules to allow consumers in-store. Additionally, its marketing strategies have been adapted to focus primarily on products available widely across stores.

Admiral

During the global crisis, the UK based insurance company wasted no time in giving back to its customers. Admiral offered all users a £25 refund on their car or van insurance, without the need to apply.

Due to a fall in the number of claims following government advice to stay at home, insurance companies have had less to pay out. This gesture of support to its customers during a period of financial strain has gone a long way in ensuring customer loyalty.

Customer experience is key.

High-quality online experiences are important now, as social distancing continues to create an alien feel to the physical spaces brands normally occupy.

Online presence (i.e. product/service marketing, knowledge and insights sharing, team culture showcase etc) make your brand compelling to the audience, thus generating a loyal following of your business and the increased likelihood of engagement.

“Not realising the potential of online is perhaps why some brands have chosen to stop advertising completely during the coronavirus crisis – they think they can’t be relevant so they go dark. But this is the wrong approach.”

Your brand, no matter what industry your business operates within, should become the guiding light of turning uncertainty into opportunity. Be at one with your target market, by;

  • Speaking to your audience directly
  • Letting your brands personality shine through
  • Being creative and marketing with an emotive transparency

Your business may be poles apart from how things used to be, but there is a method to achieving success in this changed world – you just have to be willing to make the change.

Your brand has to have these four key elements…

  1. It needs to add value to the audience, from advice, inspiration and encouragement to the simple raising of a smile.
  2. Have a strong call to action to let people know “we’re here for you if you need us, now and when this is over”.
  3. Not push sales messages. Any product/service mention should be done subtly, showing expertise rather than demanding attention.
  4. Alleviate your audience’s pains by demonstrating how your business can solve their problems and improve their lives.

Sprinkle these elements throughout your brand and its marketing efforts – and your business will be more likely to stick in the minds of the audience and bring you the return on investment you’re after.