It's an unpredictable world. Amidst the ongoing chaos of the COVID-19 pandemic and its aftermath, we're seeing unprecedented economic unease, war, and political and social turbulence. Brands must be more agile than ever before if they want to thrive in this new environment.
The need for businesses to adapt and reshape their brands is clear — particularly in response to changing consumer loyalty patterns. Brand rehabilitation can strengthen business performance by reinforcing brand value while encouraging greater customer engagement and loyalty.
Inspire A New Culture
The best way to build a brand new following in our new world is to inspire a new culture. A robust culture will give your company a competitive advantage and propel growth.
The first challenge is getting people in the same room with aligned values and a common purpose. The second challenge is creating a shared language for understanding each other's value propositions.
A good point of departure for doing this together as a team is to identify what you have in common now—and then build on top of that foundation.
What do you stand for now? Restate your values.
As seen in the news, many companies have been forced to make hard choices about who they stand with and what they stand for in a world where everything changes quickly.
Elon Musk's Twitter has caused many brands to exit because of its divisive nature. Adidas and others have left Kanye West (after his anti-Semitic comments), and the Trump hotels have suffered a similar blow.
Address Public Perception
The public's perception of your company strongly indicates how it will be received. It is crucial to address any concerns at the outset and work hard to reshape the narrative surrounding a brand.
This means being honest and transparent about the impact of change on your business. It also means restating your values in a way that resonates with consumers.
Get your story out. Get in front of the story.
When you're in crisis, it's tempting to hide from your customers or the media. That can backfire and make things worse. Instead of hiding, get out in front of the story—and tell it honestly.
The best way to do this is by having a public relations agency or communications team handle all press inquiries on behalf of the brand. Reshape perception by restating your values and demonstrating them consistently throughout all interactions with customers, employees, and partners
Open Lines of Communication With Customers
If you're in the business of selling something, it pays to be open and accessible. In these troubled times, customers are more likely than ever to reach out through their preferred communication channels: social media platforms like Facebook or Twitter, online reviews sites like Yelp or Trip Advisor, or even the comments section of an article on your industry (or its competitors).
In an unstable world, customers don't appreciate being in the dark.
If you want your brand to thrive in this new world order, focus on being available at every opportunity and ensuring that your messages are clear and consistent across all touch points.
It doesn't matter if someone is messaging you directly as a customer with a problem or posting about their experience on social media. You should always ensure they feel heard by responding quickly with empathy and care.
Try an Authentic Image Upgrade
First, make sure your product or service still stands out. This means improving systems and processes, but it also might mean making changes on the human side.
You should be MORE reachable and MORE human—even if you're a corporation. Eliminate costly customer service calls. Build a community around your brand where people can interact with you directly through social media or Whatsapp sessions.
Be authentic in everything you do, from employee training programs to basic customer support mechanisms.
Respond quickly and reconsider every customer interaction as an opportunity to learn about their needs and how they could be better served.
Create Emotive Brand Experiences
People are stressed and overwhelmed in this new world. A vibrant, empathetic connection between your brand and the customer can go a long way toward creating positive word-of-mouth.
This is where you come in: by creating experiences that are memorable, joyful, authentic, and genuine. And by making the customer journey quick and painless. The result will be a brand that people will want to share with others.
Show that you care about what's happening in the world. Encourage positivity through words or actions, even if those actions only last for one fleeting moment. In doing so, your customers will start seeing themselves as part of the positive change.
Embrace Workplace 2.0 for a New, Stronger Brand
Workplace 2.0 is not just a new wave of technology or way of working. It's an evolution of how people live and work, which will change employee engagement and how brands need to respond to it.
To be successful in this new world, brands must embrace workplace 2.0 as part of their core values and strategic direction. This means being flexible enough to change without losing focus on what makes your brand unique – its culture and its identity as a business entity.
The only permanent thing is change itself, so embrace it!
Change is the only constant in this world. Focus on what you can control and put your energy into building something worthwhile. Keep your eyes open for opportunities because they're always out there if you're willing to look for them.