New year, new market expectations: is your brand embracing change?

Are you heading into 2022 with the same challenges as in the previous two years? Or, has your business adapted to the challenges and become resistant to future changes in the market?

Recent global events haven’t just affected every market and sector, but individual consumers too. They have had their work and personal lives significantly disrupted. They’ve had time to discover new passions, pause, reflect and evaluate what is important to their happiness.

So, how can businesses adapt both to changes in the market and to customers’ mindsets and values too?

Start at the core.

The very first part of your business that ‘everyone’ sees is your brand. Whether they search on Google, view any social media platform or come across one of your marketing campaigns, your brand is what should stand out to a potential customer first and foremost.

The top line elements that make up any brand include:

• Your business name (and strap line if you have one)
• Your logo
• Your tone of voice (how you speak to your customers and employees)
• Your look and feel (how you present your business visually)

These and any other brand elements should be distinct and unique to your business and its values. It should capture the essence of what your business does and why and communicate it clearly to your target audience. Plus, your brand should be attractive, engaging or helpful to this audience.

Indeed, post-pandemic consumers (whether B2B or B2C) want to work with businesses that operate with transparency and authenticity. So, whether you ask your employees or get an agency to run a brand discovery workshop, it’s key that the brand at the core of your business is truthful to who you are.

Repositioning for the digital economy.

We’re sure you will know, or at least have heard of, digital transformation.

Business owners across the globe are actioning digital transformation strategies to ensure their businesses are ready to operate in this new, online-first world. This transition has only been accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has seen even more of the customer journey shifting online.

Reshaping your business to a digital-first model will enable you to reach more customers and operate more efficiently. Leveraging digital solutions to deliver your products and services, enhance your brand’s presence, and expand your marketing strategies are all ways of reducing operating costs and increasing your profits.

There are five areas that need to be considered, and applied internally, to manage a successful business digital transformation:

Strategy:

It is important that any digital solutions are linked closely with your business strategy. This will ensure that your team buys into it and that it is truly transformational to your whole operation.

Communications:

Communicating any changes and their benefits clearly will ensure you get buy in from your entire team. Change can be difficult and employees will put up significant resistance if they don’t understand the reasons why it’s happening.

Culture of innovation:

A digital transformation strategy must address innovation. The ultimate goal is to create a culture of innovation for your business, and to best serve your customers.

To create long-lasting change, you need to build a culture that accepts and drives innovations forward. Establishing a mindset amongst your teams that promotes active problem solving and creative thinking will ensure your business can truly grow and thrive in the long-term.

Technology:

“We always overestimate the change that will occur in the next two years and underestimate the change that will occur in the next ten. Don’t let yourself be lulled into inaction.”

Bill Gates

Technology is the tool that is inspiring innovators and enabling new business models. Leaders, managers and decision-makers have a compelling reason to understand the business capabilities of emerging technology as they will enhance their ability to make profit and gain more successes.

Unsurprisingly, understanding the capabilities of the latest technologies and how they can help your business overcome its challenges will ensure you find the best, and most cost-effective, fit.

Data:

Data should be at the heart of all your operations. From helping employees to tracking customer journeys, collecting as much data as possible, understanding what it means and using it to drive your decision-making is key to real progress.

Speaking the same language.

Whether you’re communicating to your customers via social media, through your newsletters or blogs, you need to make sure that what you say is consistent with your brand while also speaking in a voice that your customers relate to.

Your website, social media, blogs and any other channels are all interlinked as part of the digital cycle, which is why it’s important that each touchpoint matches your brand visually, tonally and figuratively. That way your customers get clear and consistent communications that help them to understand and trust your brand.

Adapt and thrive.

Every market is going through a transition period, so to stay ahead of competitors and meet customer expectations, you need to adapt to the changes and challenges of your sector. This will be a cost to your business, of course, but that cost is an investment in the future of your business.

If you’re a business owner who wants to make the most of this change, then working with friendly and compassionate experts like us can help you to adapt and thrive effectively for the long-term. To find out how we can help, get in touch with us today by emailing hello@designmc.org