If you’ve been here before, you know the importance our team places on developing a Brand Strategy for your business’s online presence.

In today’s post COVID-19 world, most business’s are struggling to figure out how their existing business model can survive.  Figuring out how this changes your Brand Strategy can answer many of those questions.

If your business falls under what are called “essential services” then you are fortunate in your ability to remain open.  Even then your business model is likely impacted in very specific ways as to how you deliver your products and services.  If not so classified, you may need to find ways to remain relevant to this time, and/or to adjust your processes to accommodate whatever comes next.

The easiest way to approach this is to ask yourself about the story you’ve been telling your market, and how that will need to change.  Remaining relevant is the central theme here.  Perhaps a better way to ask this is “How can I MAKE my business an essential service”.  

The news is filled with stories about how the restaurant business is being impacted in a way that many, if not most, will simply not survive.  The difference for most of them will be if they find ways to stay even partially functional.  Many are gearing towards a takeout business that before wasn’t even an afterthought. 

Establishments whose story was all about luxury, or food sourcing and quality find themselves telling a story about convenience, relief from monotony, and fellow feeling in a world bereft of normal social interactions common to their places of business. 

Obviously restaurants aren’t the majority of businesses, and the principles need tweaking to be applied in other markets. Prime examples of principles that need to be addressed by all businesses are: 

  • Staff Safety
  • Customer Safety 
  • Accommodation for Local Restrictions 
  • Transparency of Business Situation 
  • Changing Supply Chains 
  • Community Involvement 
  • Flexibility of Business Model/Practices
  • Acceptance of New Norms  

 

While this list is by no means exhaustive, it will get your imagination going as to what is involved in both your new “Post COVID-19” business model.  With such drastic changes there, how can your story, or Brand Strategy NOT change just as substantively? 

As you begin considering this, the challenge is to accept how fulfilling your customer’s needs has changed what you do every day, while remembering that the story you tell, isn’t necessarily about you. 

Is there a substantial way that your product/service has changed?  Your story needs to include how you are minimizing the impact for the end user. If there are unavoidable downsides, options need to be provided even if they point to other sources than your own.  Transparency will save customers you didn’t think you could, and expand your reputation and therefore your reach.  This isn’t about getting lemons and making lemonade. 

There are downsides to this new world situation that can’t be masked.  Disadvantages can be eased, but not always eliminated.  Don’t be afraid of this.  Showing your business is doing what they can to adapt is frequently appreciated in ways that actual solutions wouldn’t be. 

Make lists.  What has changed?  What has remained the same? Which parts affect your clientele?  Not all will.  Can you absorb the extra costs involved in these changes without changing price structure? How is your staff impacted? Is work from home an option for any of them? How is your sales process impacted? 

You should be getting a pretty good idea as to how big the change to your business is. Some of this will be at least semi-permanent.  Some will go back to normal in time, and at least some of these changes are likely to be permanent.  Accepting new realities will be key to who survives the changing market this situation has created.

Now let’s consider how all of this is communicated to the marketplace via the story you tell, and how you tell it.  Has your website been updated to reflect if/how you are currently open for business?  If not, do so immediately. 

An important part of your Brand Strategy is identifying what online venues, and social media platforms you will utilize to tell your story.  Your new business model may mean changing those up a bit.  Most will need only minor changes here if any.  Some will find themselves utilizing platforms and tools rejected in the past as either too labor intensive, or too expensive, or both. 

The important part of this article isn’t that it covers everything you need to consider, but that it begins a conversation within your business, with your customers, and of course with your marketing people. 

Our team is happy to help facilitate this conversation, and offer a no cost/no pressure consultation to assist you in either developing an original Brand Strategy, or adjusting your existing one to allow for this new reality. 

Fill out the form below now for your high impact, low key consultation.

 

 

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