2020 will go down in history as the year that dramatically changed the way we work and live. As brands brace for what’s after the pandemic, the question remains: will things go back to the old normal?
As a brand, you will face challenges after the pandemic is over. Here are some things to keep in mind and prepare for those challenges.
Digital transformation will be a considerable part of the branding efforts post-pandemic. Although brands had technology that worked seamlessly, the digital acceleration expected by the pandemic had many companies racing to get to the point where they could do business entirely online. Brands have to brace for a complete digital transformation and find creative ways to stand out among the noise online.
The consumer shift to online
Many businesses should be prepared to reduce their physical footprint and shift online. Consumers, especially younger and high-income consumer groups, prefer this low contact method of transactions to buy the products and services they need. Brands need to pivot to this new operating model.
Work location flexibility
Companies are going to have to deal with the fact that employees expect work location flexibility as part of their workplace. Companies should revisit their policies to accommodate remote working. If brands want to retain top talent, this hybrid model should be one of the considerations.
As more people spend their time indoors, even after the pandemic restrictions are eased, at-home entertainment will be on the rise. Streaming services such as Hulu, Netflix, etc., will continue to see increased demand after the pandemic. Video marketing is no longer something that brands can afford to ignore. Companies should look at partnering with streaming services to get their brand in front of audiences.
Brands that have been thoughtful, engaged, and sensitive in their pandemic messaging will have earned the loyalty of customers. Post-pandemic, the attitude of customers towards brands might have changed. It would be helpful to analyze customer data using surveys to understand how they perceive your brand and understand their purchasing mood to develop a messaging strategy.
Promoting workforce equality
The pandemic has only underlined the inequality in the workforce, and it has been tough on working women, who are thinking about leaving or have either dropped out from the workforce unable to juggle child care responsibilities and work. Brands should focus on a message of equality and inclusivity to resonate with women in the workforce. Also, companies should be more forgiving of gaps in employment and provide child care services, sending the right message to potential hires as well as their customers.
Often, crises result in negative emotions among people, creating a feeling of distrust and selfishness. Brands should promote the sentiment of empathy, trust, and caring by demonstrating to existing and potential customers that they are not only about increasing the bottom line.
Workplace learning needs to be adapted to the new way of working. Companies should take measures to upskill their employees in areas of interpersonal skills as most of the interactions are going remote. Learning to lead remote employees will be another part of employee development that brands need to focus on.
Travel and hospitality
Even after restrictions are eased around the world, people will hesitate to gather in large crowds, impacting the reach of travel and hospitality to pre-pandemic levels. Hybrid meetings will be the focus of the future with a combination of in-person and remote participants. Companies will have to change their venues to accommodate smaller meetings at exclusive destinations. The messaging of the brand should be safety first for their employees, partners, and customers.
Health and wellness
The pandemic has severely impacted the physical and mental wellness of most people. As companies start rebuilding, addressing health and wellness concerns should remain the priority. Bands should take measures to create an atmosphere of trust by taking practical steps to address the mental and physical well-being of employees and customers.
The pandemic has impacted industries like no other change in recent times. Brands should come together in solidarity with those affected and show support and resilience. By creating an atmosphere of positivity and progress and creating a message that resonates with the concerns of their consumers, brands can become more robust, earning customer loyalty.