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Strategic brand building in the post COVID era

22nd October 2020
Reading time 8 min
Strategic brand building in the post COVID era

It’s without doubt that businesses are some of the hardest hit by the COVID 19 crisis. What comes next for many is going to be a reinvention of their marketing strategy to include humanity, purpose, digitization, and longevity. Let’s take a look at each of these in detail, and how they’re all intrinsically tied into a brand’s success in the months and years to come.

”Now more than ever, consumers are looking for brands that prioritize and aptly respond to the challenges they face.”

Learning how to put people first

Now more than ever, consumers are looking for brands that prioritize and aptly respond to the challenges they face. Brands they can trust and that have a clear understanding of their changing needs in order to serve them effectively. To do this, brands could benefit from a well-rounded CRM tool, which provides up-to-date information on consumer interest and behavior, leading to better messaging and outreach. This will help brands provide more personalized, authentic, and helpful experiences to customers that make them feel heard and valued. Another asset to consider is omnichannel marketing, which creates a more unified and seamless experience across all marketing channels, increasing brand loyalty and visibility. It also improves analytics, helping brands anticipate and prepare for the future – an invaluable asset in these unpredictable times.

Rebuilding your media plan for resilience

Media planning today is more difficult than ever. Though brands should plan for what they think will happen, and the content they think people want, the reality is that it’s difficult to know what the future has in store. When it comes to media planning, keeping up with current events as well as changing consumer habits and needs should be top-of-mind. In the short term, brands should be prepared to create on-the-fly content that is fine-tuned for relevance and appropriateness. With respect to investing in long-term success, media planning should employ a range of digital tactics for retaining and expanding tomorrow’s audience. To do this, brands should create worthwhile content that will encourage support of the brand both now and in the future.

Communicating a meaningful purpose

Gone are the days of profit without purpose. Now, people want to see that the brands they support uphold a deeper commitment – both to their customers and to society as a whole. It’s important for brands to communicate a strong sense of what they stand for, how they can help make a difference, and to back this up with direct actions. There is a heightened expectation for brands to care about corporate responsibility, social issues, and to operate with transparency – and this should be reflected in their messaging, products, and services. In the same vein, supporting causes within the community and other charitable benevolence can go a long way. What you do now gives you a unique opportunity to show your worth to your customers and build longer lasting trust, commitment, and credibility in the long run.

Boosting social media and digital content

The number of people using digital platforms for communication, connection, and entertainment is at an all-time high. As the world evolves and innovates in this way, so too must brands to keep up and stay relevant. Prominent digital platforms such as Facebook and Instagram are a great way for brands to offer personalized attention, support, and utility, spread awareness, share charitable activities, and leave a positive and lasting impress. Recent surveys show that consumers expect brands to personalize their journey and state that this affects their future spending habits. What better way to do this than by capitalizing on the current upsurge in social media use to optimize your social media content production content production?

Digital content production strategies could take on many forms. As online video consumption has seen a significant rise during the crisis, it is worth adding more video production to your social media content strategy. Facebook and Instagram live are also notable assets, as they offer ways for users to connect with brands in real-time and have been shown to be more engaging than prerecorded videos. Online newsletters are also experiencing somewhat of a renaissance, with recent increases in subscriptions, viewership, and click-through-rates on ads. What this means for brands is that email newsletters can provide new opportunities to engage with current customers as well as find new leads for future campaigns.

Going dynamic

Dynamic creative optimization (DCO) allows brands to use consumer data to deliver more meaningful, personalized messages that improve the overall user experience. We are currently experiencing a volatile market, and one way for brands to succeed is to maintain relevance in their messaging. DCO offers the ultimate flexibility by allowing brands to switch creative messaging depending on the audience and other external elements. This presents a huge advantage during a time when priorities and messaging need to be changed regularly. And, as more digital screens become part of city infrastructure, DCO will help brands leverage the contextual power of digital out of home advertising to share their message and build memorable connections with people on their way to, or at, purchasing locations.

Renewing focus on longevity

This year made visible that many businesses were wholly unprepared for new and uncertain circumstances. In order to build and maintain organizational resilience, brands could benefit from revisiting and adding scenario planning to their business models. They should also identify capabilities that need to be strengthened to flourish in the emerging post COVID world. These range from more advanced digitalization, adopting socially conscious values, or extending their reach to new sectors and territories. Diversification into new industries is a great way to fulfill new consumer needs and stay relevant as a brand. Using data analytics, emerging patterns in consumer preferences and opportunities in the market can be identified, providing a more robust source of growth and profit.

The shared experience of the current crisis will likely have a lasting impact on consumers – with health, economic well-being, and social consciousness as top-of-mind concerns. How businesses incorporate these values post COVID is sure to determine which succeed in the long run and which don’t. In light of this: get to know your audience and what they value, offer meaningful experiences that come from a genuine place, give back to the community that supports you, and plan for the unknown. Though challenging, these offers opportunities for those who are prepared to embrace them.

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