Covid-19: How to plot the right course for your brand

Ever wondered what life would be like if you had a crystal ball? Or what about just a simple genie in a lamp Aladdin style? Us too. But alas, despite staring into our snow globes over these past few months we haven’t had much luck predicting what might happen now things are opening up again. That’s ok though – if we’ve learned anything in 2020 it’s that nobody can really know what will happen.

But there’s something else we’ve learned. And that is, despite a reasonably murky time ahead, it always, always helps to be prepared…

Things are ch-ch-ch-changing

We’ve all had to do a lot of adjusting. From the days of not being able to buy toilet roll ANYWHERE to having to set a reminder on your phone to take your handy face mask with you every time you leave the house, it seems to be a continual rollercoaster.

And while the general public has had to cope with a great deal of change, businesses have had to try and do their best to keep up as well.

Source: Uber

From Uber thanking people for not using their service to gyms launching online workout platforms, it’s safe to say this year has tested brands to their limits. But the reality is, we’re very far from being out of the woods yet. Although life has adjusted and will continue to adjust, unfortunately brands will need to constantly play catch up for the foreseeable future. And even though people might be slightly more forgiving given the circumstances, the truth is consumers will still expect the same level of experience from the brands they use.

Even though the game has changed, the crowd still expect to be entertained.

How on earth do you keep up then?

Ok, we know technically we just said we don’t know what will happen, but we’d like to circle back to our favourite Scout motto – Always Be Prepared.

Even though there is very little we can control in terms of the ongoing situation, we still need to work out what we can influence. After all, the businesses that stand still will fall over eventually. In order to keep your brand front of mind for your consumers, companies need to keep moving and working out how to pivot their onward strategy to get ahead.

When we’re faced with uncertainty, the best idea is to look at what you can control. And when it comes to branding, that means this:

  • Consumer research
  • Competitor audits
  • Brand purpose
  • Brand architecture
  • Tone of voice
  • Brand messaging
  • Content planning
  • Scenario planning

Taking the time to invest in the above areas will only make your brand stronger. It will give you a solid platform from which you can build your next course of action. By focussing on these aspects of your brand, you’ll be able to start pinpointing what is right for your business – and also what your customers will be motivated and excited by.

You can then ask the questions that will naturally come to mind as you start to work out how to keep moving things forward:

  • What was working before?
  • How does this need to change now?
  • What opportunities can we see emerging?
  • How do we use this situation to our advantage?

Turning a negative into a positive is one of the most valuable skills a company can have. But you need to have a solid brand to achieve this. It requires a deep knowledge of not just your sector, but also your audience and what permissions your brand has to capitalise on whatever opportunity is out there.

 

So, what next?

We’re so very glad you asked. We’ve been helping brands find their purpose and bring that to life for over 18 years, so you could say we know what we’re talking about. We’ve been thinking about how we could share our curiosity, and, after quite a few Zooms and the odd Hangout, we’re ready to launch something we’ve called The What’s Next Workshops.

Read more about the What’s Next Workshops here