As a challenging and uncertain year draws to a close ushering in an equally uncertain year to come, the global pandemic has changed almost every aspect of our lives. 2021 will see which of these changes are temporary and which will remain long after the post-pandemic dust has settled.
It is now impossible for businesses to continue operating in the way they used to pre-pandemic, and so business leaders are forced to undergo complete brand repositioning to meet the new needs and desires of consumers and employees. Here are a few repositioning tips we think all brands should consider going into the new year.
Evolve your humanness
Despite the pandemic forcing us into physical isolation, it has also brought humanity closer together than ever before. In our unified battle against the global effects of the virus, we are all facing the same struggles, fears, and frustrations in real-time.
It is vital for organisations to show they understand and care about the new reality their customers face, and their role in helping to address its associated challenges. Now is the time for brands to drive their social awareness initiatives into overdrive to establish deeper connections with their audiences by speaking to them and their challenges. The idea of ‘we’re in the same boat’ serves to break down any barriers to the emotional connection between brand and customer, resulting in a shared commonality that establishes a brand’s humanness.
Leveraging your humanness creates a personal connection with your audience. In a time of crisis, people want to know their needs are being met and brands need to show that they are there for their audience. Turn away from the hard selling approach and instead show your audience that you care, you listen to them, and are able to add value to their lives in these uncertain times.
Start a new conversation
The pandemic has dramatically changed the way businesses operate, sometimes even changing the services they provide. Naturally, a brand’s purpose might have changed or nuanced in a new direction. These changes should be reflected in how businesses communicate with their audience, from the messaging, tonality, to which channel is used.
Storytelling and value-added, relevant content are even more critical to create a sense of belonging and encourage an engagement that people are craving after a challenging year. Brands can use their platforms to spread messages of hope, change, and togetherness that still meet the needs of the brand but most importantly speak to their audience on a deeper level. This is a time of crisis that can spread fear and uncertainty, so brands must be sensitive to this and speak with a tone of voice that is empathetic and supportive to appeal to more cautious customers.
Engaging directly with your audience is important now more than ever as there is a definite need for a sense of community, togetherness, and collective consciousness. Brands can add their voice to the conversation by being empathetic to people’s struggles and by providing value during times of need. When people feel that brands are actively trying to make a difference in their lives and are mobilising their efforts to ensure their customers are being heard, it goes a long way in establishing trust. And in these times, trust is priceless.
Build a better company culture
With all branding repositioning efforts aligned to meet the current needs of pandemic-fatigued customers, it is important for brands to not forget that their people are just as important. Staff around the world are also going through a crisis and also need to be heard by their employers. With the rise in adoption of remote working, many people have struggled with the changes and associated challenges of working from home and being separated from their team.
Remote working is a novel concept for a lot of businesses, and traversing the teething problems of a new business process is hard enough, especially in the face of a pandemic. It is vital for business leaders to take charge and steady the ship to provide an oasis of stability in a time of unpredictability to ensure staff remain motivated. Brands must reposition themselves into employee-centric organisations which explore every avenue to ensure pleasant working environments devoid of instability as much as possible.
Looking after your people is a company’s top priority and the pandemic has forced businesses to reevaluate what they can provide for their teams. Cultivating a working culture that is based on transparency, unity, and collective progress will bring out the best in each team member and will boost output, because staff feel secure that their needs are being met.
Strategise for tomorrow, today
More than ever, our near future is defined by uncertainty. But on the bright side, the unpredictability is more or less predictable. With this in mind, it is a business’s paramount responsibility to establish robust new strategies and scalable plans to accommodate for fluctuating changes and restrictions. Predictive assertions and forecasting are required to build various strategies that are nimble enough to meet the growing number of possible requirements of tomorrow.
Like the rest of us, you cannot precisely predict what is in store for businesses in the near future. However, creating new business strategies that anticipate a number of outcomes will serve to safeguard your business against further uncertainty and give you a competitive lead when restrictions are lifted.
Although the pandemic has signalled the end to many aspects of our lives we once considered unchangeable, it has created space for new approaches that hold the potential to change our lives for the better. The ‘great reset’ has sparked a Renaissance in the ways businesses operate, creating new possibilities for the future. As the pandemic has brought humanity closer together, it has also presented an opportunity for brands to reposition their approach and adapt to the ‘new normal’ by putting customers and staff first. Renewed focus on people will be the cornerstone of the post-pandemic future, and brands will play a significant role in meeting the challenges in ways that speak more directly to their audience if they are able to adapt in time.