In business, the new normal may still seem a long way off for some. For others, it may come quicker, but all brands have one thing in common: they need to start planning for it now.
Everyone is in a different position so it’s impossible to create a specific plan or a timeline, but we can outline the next steps for your brand as a roadmap of sorts, with three things that should be on your radar now.
Look for the signals
The good news is that there will be a point when you can get back into sales mode – but you need to time it right. That time will depend entirely on your industry and the specific service or goods you deliver. However, think now about what that signal might look like so you’re ready to go. Initially, try to identify what would indicate a return to a ‘normal’ pattern in your business. Our clients’ signals vary massively – from the number of tins of paint ordered, to the Government easing social distancing legislation for our luxury hotel brand, they have all identified their marker. Map out a plan with objective goals and let it drive your re- awakening communications strategy.
Reshape your plan
Now you know when you’re getting back on the path, you have to reshape your plan. Pre- coronavirus, you had a strategy for your brand: a new product, a different market or a refreshed look and feel. The objectives for doing this might not have changed, but the strategy to get there will be different. Start with your positioning. Have recent events moved you up or down the value system? Has your category changed? Has quarantine unearthed a virtual option that consumers would never previously have contemplated? Did clients think of your category or services as hard to justify while now they don’t? Do you now exist in a category where we are now comfortable using online solutions as a result of quarantine? Considering these questions and adapting your plan might help to deliver those same objectives by taking a new path.
The coronavirus crisis has paused every economy in the world, but that’s not to say savvy brands can’t bounce back bolder and smarter. Earlier in the series, I mentioned that getting creative when adapting your communications didn’t mean ‘award- winning clever’, and that was fine then. But now, while everyone is at a standing start and coming back at once, I believe that creativity is critical. Being creative on your communications output to help you stand out in the crowd will be essential. And try applying creative thinking to other areas within your business, too. Currently, we’re working at boardroom level with a range of clients helping to give a different perspective to the current challenges and supporting them to develop a strategic solution as well as the communications output, applying creativity to all stages of the process so they’re ready to go.
Nobody knows precisely what lies ahead but we can be sure of this: those who fail to prepare must surely be prepared to fail. If you need some help or want to talk through your plans, let me know and our team will be happy to help.