Adjusting Your Brand Value During a COVID-19 Recovery Economy
In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, businesses across the world have taken hits in incredible ways. We find ourselves in very uncertain times and the sentiment rings truer than ever, that we must be able to adapt. A time such as this begs the question of who will make it and who won’t, and at the bottom of every decision lies one big question: What is your brand’s value? If your value is not there, your customers will move on. They may choose a competitor, or just cut expenses altogether. Your value must adapt to the times. Here are a few recommendations on ways to weather the pandemic as the economy tries to rebound, to help you keep continued cash flow, while supporting the economy and your customers.
Offer cash value on the spot. Provide a percentage off, free shipping, or delivery. Instant gratification can really get someone’s attention and be the thing that seals the deal. When faced with an impending recession, the first thing people do is tighten their belts and scour for savings. Although it might feel like you can’t afford to lose out on any more revenue, providing discounts and creating promotions can significantly benefit your business. You’ll soon find that promotions and discounts generate more business and lead to more sales, making up for anything you would have lost had you chosen to stick to your pre-COVID approach.
Deliver added value. If you’re service-related, be willing to provide more value and make your service worthwhile. Experiment with new ways to perform your service so you can minimize costs or expedite processes. Offer to negotiate payment and contract terms. Be understanding and adaptable. Do what you can to keep current customers purchasing, even if it means accepting lower margins — in the long run, their continued service will be well worth the lost margins. It’s at least five times more expensive to acquire a new customer, take marginal losses now, and reap the benefits down the road. It’s hard to put a price on maintaining a relationship, but given the uncertain times we live in, retaining customers should be a priority.
Identify new customers. As we try to navigate the “new normal,” it’s important to be aware of not only the consequences of COVID-19 but also to look for any new opportunities that might have arisen. Newness and uncertainty lend themselves to creative and unique approaches that would otherwise go untested. The time is ripe for disrupters to flourish, finally able to enter a space that would otherwise be inaccessible. Think about those outside your typical supply chain who weren’t there before. Analyze what might have brought them into your sector. Is there a way to leverage your services and capitalize on this new group? Can you adjust your marketing efforts to capture them? You may be able to provide more value to a new audience you didn’t know existed before. However, keep in mind that your current customers’ needs have potentially changed. Consider if they are still worth serving, and if so, redirect your efforts accordingly.
Don’t devalue yourself. Be wary of your brand at all times. Yes, you can provide discounts and establish promotions, but always keep in mind the long-term effects they might have. Businesses and customers alike are painfully aware of the economic situation we find ourselves in, but remember that your brand value and perception shouldn’t be compromised. Be careful not to devalue your brand to the degree that you can’t bounce back from what you offered during the pandemic. As businesses, we deserve to make a profit from our work. Perhaps right now you’re trying to break even or just pay the bills. But be honest about your value considerations, continue to deliver the same or better service / product that you did before, and hopefully your customers will stay the course with you.
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