As 2020 closed and 2021 has started, many businesses (and our users) are looking at their depleted war chests and thinking hard about how to deploy investments in 2021.
The goal is not only to see through the year, but in the hopefully of catching up on the losses from 2020.
As a business, we are an interesting cost centre for our client. Being a marketing spend with a focus on brand rather and sales promotion, we are often the first expense to be cut. This also gives a good insight into what successful businesses are doing.
It seems apparent that those who I bet my money on, have adapted to the new ‘normal’ and started operating as if this reality is here to stay for a while. With the news about new virus strains and recurring pandemics being the new state of things, it seems logical that businesses who are serious about their future, need to have a plan for reality. It is wise to assume that as soon as we come out of one of these cycles and feel the ‘good old times’ coming back, a new pandemic will be only round the corner. It is therefore good business planning to use the learnings from 2020 and switch to the lockdown or semi-lockdown mode as soon as the news is out.
During our strategy sessions, we discussed how our medium will be affected, as we assumed brand investment would be put on hold.
With people buying more online, it’s easy to assume that ‘brand’ is not important – as you search for a product not a retailer. So we conducted an experiment and observed our own behaviour as shoppers – both online and in-store.
As I am currently doing some work on refurbishing a house, I mainly look for building materials. Last year I bought some nice garden lights from a great supplier.
The issue I have is that I cannot remember the name. I searched through my emails, trying to find the receipt, but to no avail.
Of course I am aware of the B&Qs and Wickes,who are open and operating online sales. However, I was committed to repeat my custom with the previous supplier, who sold me a great product at a very good price. What a shame that after all that effort on their part, there was no repeat business because the retailer’s name escaped me.
Here is a real life example how awareness drives sales. Will I go to B&Q because they are better? No. I will go there, because I remember the name and I know where the store is. For businesses who are not investing in the location or are closing their physical locations due to Covid, brand investment should be a priority – to reassure their customers that they are still operating, just differently. And to prompt them when it matters, to prevent the undue brand switching.