Digital is not new, but it has become critical. Compelling digital content catapults your brand ahead of the competition. Fortnite broke records with over 12.3million people logging on to Travis Scott live. Many of us logged in daily to Joe Wicks to keep fit during lockdown – who knew he would become a household name?
In B2B, Capsule client Gilbarco Veeder-Root powered ahead with its global strategy to drive the transition to e-Mobility with an offering including a charging management ecosystem, charging products from ultra-rapid to AC fast charging. Never had this resilience in transitioning to alternative fuel solutions mattered more than during Covid-19, as we see the world of e-Mobility finally being embraced in earnest by vehicle manufacturers and consumers alike. It’s not just about digital, there has to be a value add and compelling content behind the brand for it to flourish. But other effects of the pandemic have meant that this is not enough.
Brands focus on the values and vision of an organisation.
It’s not all about profit. Post-Covid, brands must have a clearly defined and articulated purpose, yet purpose without profit is unsustainable. Actions speak louder than words: the brands which will thrive will not only do a good job in communicating their brand values, but live and breathe them.
Brands provide memorable & distinctive differentiation
A brand needs to be memorable for the right reason. Covid has set the bar much higher than before. Customer experience needs to reflect the brand at all touchpoints, whatever the medium. Post-Covid, person-to-person interaction will return, but to what extent is uncertain and a cohesive digital customer strategy is essential, not a nice one to have. According to McKinsey, only 5% of B2B companies expect to return to in-person sales even in sectors such as pharma and medical products, which have traditionally relied on missionary sales forces. The speed, convenience and choice of online can make digital a better experience for all of us. However, pain points and poor customer journeys can be harder to spot and reflect poorly on the brand which can be devastating both for sales and customer relationships. Research from tech giant Microsoft has shown that 30% of customers would not give brands a second chance after just one poor experience. It is worth remembering that it has never been easier for customers to switch between suppliers/brands.
Brands create positive awareness and reinforce reputation
Covid has focused our minds on asking what we mean by “building back better”. To my mind, this will be reflected across all brand positioning. Research from Accenture found that 60% of consumers were reporting making more environmentally friendly, sustainable and ethical purchases and 9 out of 10 said that they would continue to think about the environment when choosing a brand. 62% of UK respondents stated that they care about sustainability such as fair working conditions or eco-packaging.
Post-Covid, brands need to be about change for the better – after such a difficult time for everyone, successful brands will look forward and be positive about the future. Part of the solution for a better future not part of the problem from the past.
Brands facilitate trust between an organisation and its key audiences, both internally & externally
Covid has changed me, it has changed you, your family, your organisation, your customers and your colleagues. Research has shown that 55% of us chose brands we trusted during lockdown. This desire for security, though, must be backed up by empathy. As we all struggled to make sense of the pandemic storm which engulfed us, brands that did well established a connection through empathetic storytelling. Brands that were truthful and didn’t try to hide when things did not quite go to plan maintained the trust in their brand. Trust is an important part of brand positioning that will provide the building blocks for the future.
So where does this leave us?
As the world begins to open up – slowly and cautiously – there is a chance to breathe, but the world has changed, and life as we knew it, before Covid-19 will never return. Your brand must stand out amongst the noise, be authentic and deliver on its brand promise for service, value and delivery every single time – otherwise expect a disconnect. Omnichannel requires the experience to be the same both digitally and in person. Brands that give back, that do more, that have purpose and that are honest and authentic will be the ones that flourish in the “Next Normal”.