Millions of companies around the nation are temporarily closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. There are many things business owners could do during this time, outside of pivoting their business models, focusing on revenue-generating activities, and strategically planning for the months ahead.
One worthwhile idea to consider is how to make your business better than ever, while public health measures are in force to support the gradual rollback of social distancing regulations. Now is a good time to consider company branding and your brand image. Take steps to ensure your business emerges with a fresh appeal that helps it stand out from the rest.
“Many businesses have no choice but to close right now, but they absolutely should use that time to make business improvements,” explains Nicholas Ingram, a professional creative consultant, and owner of Black Mansion Design Studio, a full-service branding and creative design company. “Most need to improve their branding and creative efforts, but never have the time. Well, now they have the time, and by doing it will emerge stronger than ever.”
Here are five reasons why Ingram says now is the perfect time for businesses to give their company a new creative look:
1. Clarify your direction
Many business owners are not sure what will happen when they reopen. Rather than waiting to see what happens, creating a branding plan can help you gain more control of the outcome. Creating a fresh new image and will provide you with direction when you get the green light to reopen your doors.
2. Stand out from the crowd
Every business that wants to be successful must have a way to stand out and differentiate themselves from the competition. The best way to do that is through their branding.
3. Build trust
People do business with companies that they trust. When you take the time now to hone your brand image, you will help to re-establish trust when you open back up. Brand trust is essential in uncertain economic times.
“If consumers trust a brand they also exhibit behaviors that demonstrate loyalty. Some 8 in 10 US consumers (82%) and three-quarters (75%) of global respondents say they will continue to buy a brand they trust, even if another brand suddenly becomes hot and trendy,” according to MarketingCharts. “They’ll also advocate on the brand’s behalf, with a large majority (76% globally, 78% US) saying they always recommend the brand if someone asks.”
4. Motivate buyers
Given the nature of the current COVID-19 public health crisis, it’s wise to assume a majority of consumers will be a little hesitant. One way to motivate your audience to engage with your brand is to prove that you are fresh, confident, and focused on societal and consumer concerns.
For instance, a MarketingCharts survey found “Close to 7 in 10 consumers surveyed (69% globally, 67% in the US) listed societal-focused concerns as to why trusting a brand they buy is important.” A branding overhaul and branding goals can help in this area.
5. Turn lemons into lemonade
A change in company-wide practices and temporarily closing your doors to help #flattenthecurve of a global pandemic with community-level implications is the equivalent of being handed lemons.
But that doesn’t mean you have to fold your arms and frown with a sour face. You can turn the lemons into lemonade and create something wonderful. By using the downtime to make business improvements, you will increase your chances of success once the doors are back open.
“Business leaders can either use this downtime to do nothing to help their business grow, or they can use it to hone their creative image,” added Ingram. “Taking a proactive approach to revamping your creative image right now can go a long way in paying dividends when you open your doors once again.”
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