It has never been more important to define and convey your brand purpose. The unprecedented Covid-19 pandemic is affecting everyone.

If your business is to survive you must step-up and demonstrate how you’re supporting your people, your customers and society as a whole.

While you might be finding things tough, so are your customers but there are areas you can focus on now to add brand value and increase customer / client loyalty longer term.

The primary areas to focus on now is doing what is right for your staff, what is right for your customers, and what is right for your community
ANNA PLOTNEK

Unfortunately there is no one-size fits all approach, but the small things really matter right now.

In the struggle for business survival people will remember how they were treated and how some companies just cut all their staff off without a lifeline or refused to pay small businesses. This will be remembered and for good reason.

As Maya Angelou famously said, “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

Companies will be judged on the way they treat people, their staff, their customers, their suppliers and society as a whole.

People have long memories and negative press and social media reviews destroys brands overnight. Society will not forget the way in which companies have operated and made us feel, so with that in mind, our Top 3 Tips are:

 

TIP 1 – Your People – Maintaining culture is vital.

Company culture is particularly important in times of crisis. How a brand treats their employees can influence consumer perception. Indeed, research from Kantar’s Covid-19 Barometer, consumers believe staff welfare should be a company’s priority.

And businesses that go above and beyond will be repaid in increased loyalty, higher productivity, and a lasting reputational benefit for many years to come.

Lead by example. Demonstrate key attributes of resilience and adaptability so employees can follow your lead and feel reassured.

It’s your chance to show empathy and humanity, be flexible and protect employees. Use technology to have regular catch ups and keep checking in on your teams.

Communication is key. Send a daily or weekly update to staff and talk to them on a regular basis so they do not feel isolated. Even your furloughed staff.

Support mental health as well as physical health. Share your own methods for overcoming doubts or dealing with anxiety, be it a daily walk or yoga or whatever is your go to ‘pick me up’ for positivity.

 

TIP 2 – Your CustomersCreativity is key.

Small businesses have been hit particularly hard by the pandemic and are having to find creative ways to serve customers and expand their offerings to survive. The crucial characteristic to demonstrate right now is adaptability.

Be flexible, embrace the inevitable change. Think about expanding your market, find new ways to deliver your product or service or partner with other businesses.

Stay connected with your customers. Drop them an email, call or even message on LinkedIn and ask them how they and their teams are doing, and even ask for ideas on how you can support them. They will remember how you made them feel.

They may not be buying from you right now, but you’ll need them more than ever once things settle down and they will come back to you. Keep updating your website, communications, and social media to ensure supportive messages reach your target audience.

 

TIP 3 – Your Community – Activate your social purpose.

Constantly look for ways to help people and support those in need. Moments of random kindness and empathy are capturing people’s hearts.

This is not a marketing opportunity but post Covid-19 if your business supported and got involved in community projects it will put you in a more favourable light and kickstart your business quicker. Short term losses for longer-term gain.

It could be something as simple as reposting customers social media posts who are doing something positive to help in the crisis or celebrating a member of staff who is an NHS volunteer. Look for ways to help and do it. Surprising results may happen!

 

This is an unprecedented time for small businesses, and there’s no one-size-fits-all solution.

There is a theory emerging, that says all the brands who did something positive in this crisis will be rewarded, and the brands who didn’t will be punished.
ANNA PLOTNEK

So when all this is over let’s remember who looked out for us. And who didn’t. What will your legacy be? How do you want to be remembered?

As we head into week 6 of lockdown, we’d be happy to chat to any business owners if you have any questions about how to help build your brand during this time.

Big love – stay connected (virtually), stay creative & stay safe!