If you believe like I do that brands live, have personalities and DNA, then yes, your brand most likely experienced COVID. It created a state of suspended animation that brands are still going through. Like the long haulers who were impacted by COVID, brands are in the same state of trying to feel better, trying to overcome COVID brain.
For most brands, the pandemic hit hard. Even if you were a brand that benefited from COVID, those that saw demand increase from pantry loading had to deal with other symptoms like supply chain destruction. Brands — like bodies — relied for years on a system, arteries of sorts that fed the brand the “nutrients “ it needed to thrive. The circuitry of this system changed starting with consumer demand —or lack thereof.
The good news is that, like a human being, most brands adapted to these changes. Ideas became the new antibodies of what I am calling “COVID2020.” These ideas needed to be acted upon quickly. Our theory was that good ideas had a 72-hour shelf life. Because of rapid change to the system, the cures needed to be deployed quickly as well.
The benefit of reacting quickly was that some form of immunity was found, as well as ways to seek out business in channels that previously were never as robust. Take for example curbside pickup for retail and takeout for restaurants. Through on-line shopping, supermarkets and e-commerce saw customers they had never dreamed of capturing.
If transactions were previously in-person, how do you preserve some measure of customer experience and still get a consumer’s attention? Zoom and Teams, technology very few had adopted until COVID2020, was in your brand’s bloodstream. It is now part of how your brand breathes. Balance pandemic fatigue with in-person experiences, and you have a winning formula for better and more profitable customer engagement to come.
Following this thinking, digital marketing is the vaccine for COVID2020. Customers in search of solutions are online more than ever before. Your digital store front must look its best and have a voice online to gain interest, tell your brand story and most importantly capture the sale. Brands that don’t embrace digital after COVID2020 are certain to be swept away, if not in this pandemic, in the next pandemic, recession or competitor conquest.
My advice to brands is to see that your brand is a living organism dependent on a variety of systems. Embrace these connections and you will not simply survive, but thrive.