DEFINING YOUR BRAND AND IDENTITY FOR THE FUTURE

As we begin to emerge from the pandemic people are likely to feel and respond in completely different ways. This period of transformation has and will continue to influence businesses, brands and a general approach to marketing. One core focus will be on defining these changes and ensuring businesses can continue to progress in a post-pandemic society. 

Whilst the impacts will vary depending on one industry to another, there have been several significant changes that have affected all brands, both large and small. The rise of virtual meetings and remote networking has generated an increased affiliation for efficient online customer services. Many businesses are responding to and actively seeking new methods to meet customer expectations.

Right now, delivering support and placing customer experience as a top priority will ensure companies can stand out and continue to expand their customer base. The brands that are delivering useful content are starting to succeed in terms of connections with new customers and a general recognition within their market. Businesses that adapt and implement this approach, providing a continued service and regular opportunities for customers to engage with your company will be the ones more likely to progress in the future.

A SHIFT IN YOUR APPROACH TO MARKETING 

Remaining connected and aware of industry developments has always been important, but has become even more critical right now. Studies have already indicated that one of the key outcomes from the current situation is how important business and brand experience is. A recent report from Salesforce explained that over 80% of customers stated that the experience a brand delivers is as important as the actual service or product that the business sells. With the rapid transition in methods of communication, many companies are focusing their efforts on accelerating customer experience and maintaining both trust and loyalty with their community. 

Technological advancement has enabled businesses to enhance and automate a number of processes. This is a great benefit to companies, but having the ability to automate a service doesn’t necessarily mean this should be the approach. Automation clearly has proven vital in certain areas of a business, but in some areas, such as customer engagement, automation tools cannot replace the interaction between customers and employees. 

An earlier survey by Retail Dive suggested that nearly 70% of customers have a preference for human interaction against automated technology. The findings do, however, suggest that technology does provide a more efficient service and enables companies to create a faster and more efficient process for customers. The results, along with a number of other studies indicate that both services are very important towards the future of delivering effective customer service. In terms of brand and marketing, the focus will be on finding a balance between integrated automation and personalisation. Being more personal and delivering a targeted approach that extends beyond traditional demographic factors will likely become more important. 

THE RAPID RISE OF ONLINE PURCHASES 

With the impacts of the pandemic, many people have taken to online platforms to meet their shopping needs, and many have realised how simple and efficient it actually is. Many businesses have predominantly focused on perfecting their online experience and ensuring any online service is tested and executed to the highest standard. Businesses understand that many customers, existing and new, are actively using online systems to make purchases and this trend is likely to continue. If companies have the ability to generate digital versions of their services, then it makes complete sense that this should be a top priority. It’s unlikely that retail will completely disappear as many people do prefer to visit shops and have that personal interaction with others. 

In terms of marketing, the online image of a business is going to be critical as more people will use this as a clear indicator of your brand and services. Organic search visibility will likely become more important for businesses in maintaining a strong online presence. Content will also play a critical role in ensuring branding remains strong and competitive for the future. 

The online experience will play a stronger role in determining the success of a business. Studies suggest that e-commerce stands at around 15% of total retail and is expected to rise to 30% by 2025. Recent reports now believe this will be reached far quicker than previously anticipated. Optimising the online experience for their customers must become a top priority for all companies. Intelligent businesses are making plans to determine the most effective way to remain connected with their customers online and ensure they remain competitive within their selected industry. Brands that focus on innovation and discovering new ways to communicate are most likely to be the ones that will progress further in the long term.

SUPPORTING BUSINESSES WITH A CLEAR PURPOSE 

Creating a strong message and delivering a clear purpose has become a vital part of brand success. More and more customers are showing a stronger preference towards businesses with a structured and transparent approach towards their processes and services. Delivering a positive impact will become a rising trend as we continue to see an increase in more emphatic and caring brands. Analysts are expecting a rising trend of companies displaying authenticity and genuine care towards generating positivity. 

Technology and science will accelerate considerably during this period. Many of the leading, dominant companies now have the opportunity to play a significant role in innovation, creativity and supporting people work through the current challenges. These changes will define customer’s expectations of businesses moving forward. In order to remain competitive and continue to progress, businesses will need to remain transparent, have a clear and thoughtful approach to their customers and employees. 

MAINTAINING A FLEXIBLE APPROACH

We are all aware now that change is possible anywhere, at any time and has the potential to have a significant impact on all businesses. Ensuring your company remains flexible is critical in maintaining performance during challenging times. Being intelligent, adaptable and innovative will strengthen brands during a crisis. Brands should really be thinking about what they want to be known for, how they stand out and most importantly, how they add value to their customers. Brand identity and delivering a clear and purposeful strategy is a vital must in adapting to survive. 

For the time being, many businesses are going to adopt a cautious approach towards investment and spend on resources. The direct approach towards sales has reduced and we will likely see a rise in brands focusing on generating further value beyond their standard offerings. Creating well-crafted and insightful content will enable businesses to remain connected with their customers and attract new people to their organisation.

Customer expectations are rising and people expect to see exactly the values, goals and what a business can really offer. Studies have indicated that people are shifting their attention towards things that really matter and reducing spending on unnecessary items. This transition has accelerated more so with many people being impacted financially as a result of the pandemic. The ‘less but better’ approach applies to both services and marketing. As people buy less, they are likely spending more determining what to buy. Businesses can position their brand so customers can clearly understand what products or services you offer and enable them to make a clear and informed decision. 

Building a brand has never been more important than now. The pandemic has shown how strong some brands are and how businesses have the ability to drive forward once the crisis is over. Customers are likely to flock to brands that they really believe in, to ones that show clear purpose, value and inspiration. Forward thinking companies have positioned their customers and community at the core of their business for some time and are now reaping the benefit with customers showing their support and loyalty at such a crucial time