This year has had no shortage of challenges and surprises, so what can we take away from all of this chaos?
Let’s face it- 2020 was not the year many of us hoped for. Many of our go-to strategies and “rule of thumb” concepts, got tossed out the door! With so many changes happening so quickly, many businesses struggled with not only figuring out how to stay open, but how to operate in a whole new way. Remote working and learning suddenly became household terms, and let’s not forget the race to find those essential everyday items- you know what we’re talking about!
In spite all of the dysfunction, we’ve been able to take a look at our brands and discover some of hidden realities that have allowed our businesses to stay relevant even in a pandemic. Think about how you’ve had to adapt your business model to fit the needs of your local community, and your target audience. What has this change made you notice about the way you connect with your customers?
Influence has been a huge contender in the fight of survival for many companies, especially small businesses. The impact felt by local and small businesses has been heavily embraced throughout our nation. Even during this holiday shopping season, consumers have had to rely on influencer marketing to make buying decisions. People absorb emotion and knowledge from others- think about social media for example. You probably saw more people asking for recommendations, leaving reviews, and sharing more testimonials about a product or brand this year. Since a majority of the customer experience is being played out online right now, it is crucial to understand how the power of influence can make or break you. 2020 did a phenomenal job of getting people outside of their comfort zone, and giving them a more forceful push to voice needs and opinions. Take advantage of this momentum and transform it into a positive marketing machine moving into 2021.
This brings us to talk about Strategy– your game plan for moving your brand into the next phase of modern-day business. If 2020 has taught us anything about strategy, it is that you can’t be afraid to reinvent the wheel! Creating a good strategy for your business is more like a guideline. You’ve laid out a plan, but have to be willing to be flexible, adapt, and sometimes just start over completely. Change is difficult and it can be very scary, but it is necessary in order to be sustained. 2020 forced many companies to reimagine how they do business, and how to effectively communicate that business to a new kind of customer. So your strategy for 2021 should include extra consideration for planning, budgeting, and the adaptive market.
Feeling nervous about 2021? Look at it as a new opportunity to hit the reset button. This year has shed a lot of light on the consumer mindset and where loyalties stand under pressure. Take what you’ve learned from your customers, and your team (if you work with others). Observe how you can build awareness, loyalty, and trust while the rest of the world continues to make progress in returning to normalcy.
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