Let's face it, the pandemic pulled the rug under us, and business had to pivot at that moment to adapt or to fall.
This era of unprecedented change meant that companies had opportunities to take advantage of while having the risk of COVID still floating in the air.
Today's topic is recession-proofing your brand. However, strengthening your brand should be done regardless of the time because a strong brand should be timeless.
Continue To Establish Relationships
Let's start with the customers and audience you engage with every day. You should still invest in brand awareness and constantly engaging on your digital or traditional marketing channels. It's highly tempting to cut back on something you see as a cost when you are in the red.
However, keeping your customers in the know and aware that you are there in the good times and the bad is what will keep you afloat.
Harvard Business Review mentions trust and integrity are fundamental to keeping business alive when approaching customers. We are now in a world that relies less on appeal and more on insights and solutions.
Trust will be built by those who truly listen to customer needs and then craft tailored solutions to meet those needs.
Venturing Into New Audiences
The best way to be a timeless brand is to capture new audiences. You can minimize revenue loss by finding new people to target with your brand. Try tapping into unconsidered market segments and offer your unique value-proposition appropriately.
This is particularly true if your traditional target audience is set to be struck by the economic downturn. We found the data from the EY Future Consumer Index, which has identified five different cohorts of consumers during this turbulent time:
1. Affordability first
Living within their means and budget, product functionality focused
2. Health first
Protecting their health and their family, choosing trustworthy and safe products
3. Planet first
Eco-conscious and climate change enthusiasts who are buying brands that reflect their beliefs
4. Society first
Working together for the greater good, buying from organizations they find honest and transparent. Think of fair-trade certified products!
5. Experience first
Living in the moment to make the most of life, often making them open to new products, brands, and experiences
A recession can also be the best time to launch a new brand or venture altogether.
I mean, how much lower can it possibly get?
The time to experiment is ripe because your competition is measurably dealing with their troubles. Consumers are more likely to respond to unique value offer than what they are already exposed to.
Offset risk by targeting smaller, niche audiences during the downturn and then leverage these loyal followers to do the word-of-mouth marketing on your behalf to reach wider audiences!
Upgrading Your Digital Experience
This pandemic has accelerated the customer experience on the digital front. More than ever, we have relied on services through our phones, tablets, and computers. Through this, brands need to put their best foot forward on their websites, mobile and desktop, and the app.
If your company has managed to survive only through referrals, now maybe be a good time to do a digital rebranding. A rebrand allows you to create a digital experience that you may need that may have turned off customers casually entering your website.
A reimagined digital experience should be more than just creating a new website or just fixing broken links from your blog, assuming you do have one. The best digital experiences are built from scratch. Step into your customer's shoes and think of how they will be interacting with your brand from all digital channels associated with you.
Does the experience from your Instagram to your store make sense? Are they landing on the right pages, or are you creating the friction that irritates the customer? Are you sending emails that make sense or send just under what would be breaking the CASL? Maybe it is time to brush up on your Google Analytics skills and see your audience behavior on your website and where they are coming from.
Only through customer research will you truly profit from and efficiently convey your values and unique product/service offering. Remember, it will be more digital from here, don't think as the economy recovers, you can return to your "old ways."
Rebranding in the post-pandemic, but just before the economy is back to normal is the last chance you can get to put the best foot forward.
It is the optimal time to think deeply about who your customer is, who you want to target, which new audience groups you want to bring in, and how to ensure your brand conveys your values in the best digital way possible. It is tempting to think about what is most convenient for the brand, or just leveraging hype and fads on social channels will be profitable.
It only does brands who genuinely listen to the customer, understand their pain points, actively engage with them in all media, and invest in the digital customer experience can stand the test of time.