With the announcement of more relaxed lockdown measures, our members are starting to think about what their business might look like for their customers, employees and clients. So, for our fifth Survive and Thrive session this week, we talked about marketing your brand in the wake of COVID-19.
We were joined by Tause Page, Founder of VP Comms. VP Comms is a brand strategy and responsible business consultancy that helps business find their meaning and tell their story.
Tause started her session by reinforcing the importance of responsible business, especially during these times, and reviving your existing brand. She explained that as a Heart of the City member, you’ve already prioritised responsible business and whilst these are turbulent times, comms has never been more important. She informed us to look ahead so you can revive the brand you had pre-COVID-19 – it’ll be an opportunity to revive your business and reinforce your brand so it can thrive.
We’ve shared Tause’s useful CEO acronym to help you think about your different audiences:
- Customers: You already had a solid brand pre-COVID, and you need to reinforce this to your customers. Think back to pre-lockdown and ask yourself why your brand was important then. It’s important you continue to play to your strengths and not be generic. Your customers can tell if you’re not being authentic, so it’s about being what people need. This is an opportunity to celebrate and connect to your community, so take it!
- Employees: It’s important that you’re clear with where your business is going now and whilst things might be difficult to predict, being transparent with your employees will demonstrate trust and empower them. Equip your managers so they can offer support and allow your employees to use their voice. It’s also important to keep communication going and provide constructive and positive feedback. Your employees are your biggest ambassadors and asset, and word of mouth is a great way of marketing your brand with minimal budget.
- Outsiders: These are your external stakeholders such as funders or investors. It’s also important to keep communication going with them and that you continue to meet their needs. Don’t get stuck in the ‘now’ – focus on telling your story again.
Running a small business is about adapting, so Tause’s key message is to be authentic and stick to your strengths. This isn’t about reinventing but reviving.