Is your business in turmoil since the COVID-19 outbreak? Industries like retail, travel, transport, hospitality, and events have been almost completely wiped out by the lockdown. Spending has dropped, and the economy is in a downwards slide. In the current climate, it is more important than ever for companies to reach out to their customers, find ways to keep afloat, and ethically promote their brand. But with emotions running high, it is more crucial than ever to be authentic, genuine, and mindful in the strategies that you employ. So, where should you start?
Forget Business as Usual
In this unusual time, you need to know your customers, understand what they are going through, and respond appropriately. If you are offering a corporate gift, a custom branded hand sanitizer might be more appropriate than your regular pen or reusable coffee cup. If you work for a tech company, you might consider ways in which can support businesses’ remote working requirements rather than their usual office space.
Adapt and Serve
Many smart companies have adapted rapidly to survive in this challenging climate. Gin companies, for example, have transformed their distilleries into hand sanitizer production lines. Meanwhile, 3D printing facilities are trying their hand at manufacturing ventilators. The advantages are three-fold – their company survives, they offer a public service, and they get some good press at the same time. But recognizing the market’s needs and rapidly responding is at the core of this approach. How can your business emulate this clever strategy? Even if you aren’t contributing directly to the fight against Coronavirus, take inspiration from the restaurants that have created gourmet home delivery options and the bars that have converted into mini-supermarkets and find a way to move forward.
Offer your Customers Genuine Value
Now is not the time for empty platitudes. Rather than posting an inspirational quote, think about how you can offer people value through your expertise. Maybe you have used a fantastic free collaboration software or have some time-saving remote working tips. You might have eCommerce experience that could help customers who are used to the face-to-face business model and are struggling to adapt. By positioning your brand as a company that is here to help, you can cut through some of the noise and stress people are facing.
If you are in a position to be able to offer more flexible payment terms or a particularly competitive deal, your customers will be eternally grateful. You might be able to offer some of your time to consult with current clients. #WeAreAllInThisTogether is much more powerful when you are going the extra mile to help.
If you are a small business and you are genuinely struggling, it is time to be vulnerable. There is a good chance that you have loyal customers, family, and friends who are supportive and keen to see you succeed. If you are at a point where you might need to throw in the towel, give those around you a chance to show their support. If they don’t know how dire the situation is, they might not think to share your social media posts or refer their friends to you. It is often hard to tell people that you are struggling, but it is always better to give everything you have to make your business work rather than wonder “what if?”
Remember, the critical consideration when promoting your brand during lockdown is to be genuine, mindful, and authentic.