How your brand can provide flexibility for the future
As the economic environment evolves, your business needs to evolve with it, adapting to new circumstances. If there is one thing we can be certain of, it is that the future is uncertain. In this situation it’s important to understand how your brand can provide flexibility for the future.
No doubt your business has experienced a number of changes in the past couple of months. Where you work may have changed (49% of the UK workforce are working from home). The size of your team may have changed (6.3 million staff have been furloughed). Your customers buying behaviour may have changed (16% of consumers are buying groceries from a different supermarket). Where you do business may have changed (Ecommerce has seen significant growth, with online grocery orders forecast to rise 25%). Whatever changes you have experienced, it is likely that they will continue for the foreseeable future.
What this future looks like is – understandably – uncertain. There is debate about what ‘shape’ the recession will be – V-shaped, U-shaped, L-shaped or even W-shaped – and the long-term impact. Questions are being asked about where we will work; whether the introduction of widespread home-working will lead to a shift away from the office. Following the restrictions imposed by Covid-19, there is an expectation that business delivery, across all sectors, will become more digital.
Whichever path the economy follows over the next 12 months, it will require you to do business in a new way. Perhaps not completely new, but certainly different. In this situation you will need to adapt, so considering how your brand can provide flexibility for the future will give you a competitive advantage.
Your brand is the experience that people have of your business. Good or bad. This brand experience is influenced by every interaction people have with your company, however large or small. As you prepare your business for the future, it’s important to consider how changing circumstances could influence the brand experience of your customers. If your team are working from home, and some of your staff are on furlough, how does that effect the brand experience of your customers? If your customers priorities have changed and they want you to deliver your service digitally, can you maintain the quality of their brand experience? Your ability to adapt to these changing demands will influence the future success of your business.
Your brand can help your business adapt to the changing demands of an uncertain future. There are three aspects of your brand you should consider.
Your brand strategy is a plan to help you deliver the best possible brand experience to your customers. There are lots of elements that combine to form your brand strategy. These include business objectives, brand purpose, market position, brand values, target audience, brand proposition. Each of these have a role to play in shaping your customers brand experience and differentiating your business from your competitors.
In a period of uncertainty, it’s important to review each of these elements. Have your business objectives changed? Are you still focused on your brand purpose? Does your market position need to change? Are your brand values still evident to customers? Have the needs of your target audience changed? Is your brand proposition still clear and relevant? Your brand strategy provides a framework to help your business adapt to the future.
Your brand identity will help you to raise your profile and stand out from your rivals. In a competitive and confused environment, that’s more important than ever. It is a key element of your customer’s brand experience, and helps to deliver your brand strategy. The elements of your brand identity – logo, colours, typeface, imagery, language, design style – provide a foundation for all your communication. By using these elements consistently, you can make an impact, in print and on screen. As circumstances change you can adapt and maintain your profile. This will be equally important with existing customers, as it will be with new ones.
Brand management will drive your business success more efficiently and effectively. It is the process of building a relationship with your customers, through managing the quality of their brand experience. The quality of the experience will be influenced by their opinion of your products, the attitude of your team, the clarity of your communication and their interaction with your company – face-to-face or online. To maintain the quality of your brand experience you need to measure it – especially when circumstances that are changing. Brand management will help your to identify how and where you need to change, as you adapt to the future demands of business.
It’s impossible to know what the economy will look like in 6 months. But it will be different from the state it is in now. To meet the challenges that Covid-19 brings, your business will need to adapt. If you understand how your brand can provide flexibility for the future, you will be able to drive your business success through the recession and into the recovery.
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A clear brand strategy will create a competitive advantage for your business, and make it easier to win new customers. This is because it brings focus to your business, so you can identify what’s most important and make the best use of your resources.
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Your brand identity will help you to raise your profile and stand out from your rivals in a competitive environment. We’ll work with you to create a strong brand identity that is distinctive and memorable, so you can make an impact, in print and on screen.
Read more about Brand identity >
Strong brand management will drive your business success more efficiently and effectively. It is the process of building a relationship with your customers, by managing the quality of their experience, through every interaction.
Read more about Brand management >
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