The pandemic has thrown us all into unprecedented times. How well Brands can adapt, problem-solve, and respond to unexpected challenges will determine their success during and post-covid.
Research shows that people are looking to brands to demonstrate leadership during the pandemic and help, assist, and serve. For a significant majority, this means brands must do what they can to protect the well-being and financial security of their employees and their suppliers. It shows that the way a brand carries itself in such turbulent waters will have a significant impact on success in the future.
The crux of it is that resilience is the ability to adapt during turbulent times. Brand expectations are that they will adapt to their customer’s evolving wants, needs, and values.
Building a connection with new customers and maintaining pre-existing ones is more challenging now than in the past. When anxiety is high, and panic is free-flowing, it is crucial to cut through the fog with facts.
It is not the time for speculating or spinning hypotheticals. Customers and stakeholders will forgive brands for being caught by surprise or even being unsure of the future, but misleading them is not the way forward.
It is essential to cultivate meaningful relationships with stakeholders while connecting with them across multiple media. It needs to be without being tone-deaf by using appropriate communications and engagement.
Leaders and top management need to be upfront with their internal and external communication so that customers and employees know what to look forward to and how they can prepare themselves for it.
Assessing Risk Tolerance
Risk needs to be from the confluence of protection, management, and opportunity. It helps the brand grow more aware in understanding
- The risks they need to prepare.
- The risks they need to mitigate.
- The chance to help the brand evolve, thrive, and flourish through both erratic and robust times.
Assessing risk also helps the brand understand its value addition. It further allows the streamlining of the products and services while focusing on a value exchange that benefits both the business and the people the brand serves.
Building your community
With social isolation and high-speed internetworking in tandem, the result leaves people alone yet connected. Video calls are the norm, whether the people involved are in the same city or on the other side of the world. The world has indeed become a global village because we are all alone together.
With shared values, interests, and passions, brands can work towards cultivating communities. The pandemic offers an opportunity to bring people together and unite them around common goals and needs.
For instance, several fitness-based brands are streaming free HIIT, yoga sessions each day. Mental health has taken priority amidst the pandemic, and plenty of organizations are offering daily guided meditations, free counseling, and other services that are of immense help at this time.
Every organization must have a clear purpose. In a critical situation, being without an ideal makes survival very tough. Purpose drives growth. No matter how big or small, every brand can always contribute towards something by staying true to their core beliefs, not through extravagant gestures, but by demonstrating how your brand creates value through credibility.
Being prepared to evolve
Sailing as we are through this, nobody knows what the post-pandemic reality will look like. But, it is a fair enough estimate that things won’t go back to the way they were before. While this is unnerving, it is also unavoidable. The best way to navigate this is to transform and adapt. It offers the potential for a brand to become a disruptor.
Successful brands typically spot the change first and adapt to it, becoming disruptors in their respective fields. It is not just a moment for brands to serve an immediate need, but to create a way to build deeper and more meaningful relationships with partners, suppliers, and customers.
Being able to respond, pivot, evolve, and transform based on changing conditions is essential for survival. How a brand responds, acts, and anticipates its customers’ changing needs requires flexibility, strategy, and foresight.
Doing what you can
The immediate focus needs to be on damage control. Every brand needs to question its fundamentals as we go in for the long haul.
- How can the current business operations and protocols be better adapted to a new normal?
- What technologies can make the transition to working virtually seamless?
- How can productivity and performance be optimized while employees are working remotely while allowing room for human connection?
Businesses and brands out there have to tap into all their creativity, empathy, and problem-solving ability to navigate this successfully.
The simplest way to go about this is to operate from a core set of values.
In times of relative peace and abundance, resilience as an advantage is easy to overlook. The human ability to adapt, problem-solve, and respond to unexpected challenges has been critical to our survival and success as a species.
This pandemic is no different. In the future, empathy and creativity will allow brands to respond with inspiration and optimism while preparing for opportunities the future holds.
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