The ‘New Normal’ that everyone is talking about doesn’t look like it’s going to be up and running for a while yet. Sure, some non-essential shops are opening, but a lot of businesses should be prepared for reduced customer activity and tightened purse-strings. These four straightforward tips can help you stay afloat and build customer engagement in the interim. And, if it comes to it, they can help with your brand building in a recession too.
- The lockdown effect on businesses and brands
- Exploring brand creation and development
- 4 at-home brand creation steps
Why not come out of the lockdown ready and raring to go with brand recognition at a high and confidence in your brand identity?
The lockdown effect on businesses and brands
We’ve been in lockdown since March and it’s not been a smooth adjustment. ONS has reported that it has caused a number of businesses to permanently close their doors. And those that stayed open have seen a rapidly reduced turnover – it’s not easy for anyone.
The government schemes available are helping businesses stay afloat, but they’re not ensuring survival after the lockdown. Continuing the brand creation process during this time can though. With content marketing, social media marketing, or through your business logo creation and development, you can ensure you stay in the minds of your customers so that when you do reopen, both you and your customers are ready.
Exploring brand creation and development
So, just what is brand creation? Is it your logo? Your brand positioning? Your reputation? It’s all these things and more. Brand creation is the process of deciding what you would like your business to stand for and encouraging your customers to understand that.
Brand creation and management is not just creating a brand logo or identity – it’s carefully building your brand, reinforcing your values, and continually fostering support from your target audience.
4 at-home brand creation steps
Brand creation and marketing during the lockdown will take time and require outside-the-box thinking. You can’t see your customers face to face to reinforce your message; you have to rely on digital marketing instead. These steps aim to offer guidance on how you can retain customers and even grow your brand recognition during lockdown:
Step one: Work on your website
Considering we can only communicate through the postal system or a digital device at the moment, having a website is common sense. You can use it to convey your COVID-19 messaging, sell any products you can online, or just share blogs and news. It’s also a great place to give your audience some in-depth insight into your brand identity and values when they can’t visit your physical locations.
If you already have a website, keep it up-to-date and active during this time.
- If you don’t have a website, you should get one. There are plenty of websites where you can make use of templates to create a website – these generally have a very straightforward drag and drop content management system (CMS).
- Alternatively, you can hire a professional web developer. The latter will be more costly even with the reduced costs that digital marketing agencies are offering at this time. But DIY sites can be a lot more affordable – we found a site offering a domain name, a simple CMS and hosting for as little as £20 per month.
Step two: Make use of social media
Social media is everywhere. About half of the world’s population is on it in some form which makes it ideal for businesses wanting to engage in brand development. Across all platforms, users are making the most out of social media to discover product reviews and opinions, to find new products or alternatives, even to talk to others and gain recommendations. It’s an incredibly useful marketing tool, not just for your products, but for your brand as well.
If a customer posts about your product online, go positively interact with that post – the resulting customer experience could be the difference between them choosing your product over another’s in the future.
Get yourself on social media and get involved in conversations around your product and industry. It’ll keep your customer engagement up and will benefit you once things open up.
Top Tip: Remember to link to your website on social media – it’ll maximise your brand impact and encourage users to your site.
Step Three: Be consistent with your comms
Brand creation is all about sharing what your business is and stands for, but sometimes your products and website aren’t enough for customers to understand that. Alongside posts about your current status, let them get to know you and your brand identity, build familiarity, and generate positive perceptions about your business through unusual (for you) methods.
Here’s how other industries are staying relevant during lockdown:
- Pubs are hosting virtual quizzes in lieu of their regular ones
- Fashion brands are hosting zoom parties
- Restaurants are sending out colouring sheets over social media
They’re all keeping their customers engaged with their brands in different ways and working to stay relevant for when the restrictions ease.
Step four: Go out of the home with your advertising where you can
For those who are still in business, your brand creation can go one step further with physical branding as well.
If you’re still delivering products yourself, brand your clothing to reinforce your identity and remember to stay friendly, and socially distanced too.
If you’re using a postal service, think about putting your logo or even just a thank you message on the packaging. Custom-made stamps are a great option and a nice little addition to any parcel.
Add your branding and a link to all your social accounts and website to your emails and digital product.
Brand creation and development is all about the personal touch – customers want to know there is someone with shared values behind the brand, and these are just some ways you can reinforce that throughout lockdown.
Contributed by Affinity