Over the course of the lifetime of a business, there may be times when customers may not be able to purchase products or services.  For example: it is a snowy winter and the customers don’t need landscaping, or there a global pandemic and customers can’t visit your retail showroom.

Recent uncertain times demonstrated that businesses that are nimble, agile and creative will thrive even in the most unforgiving and daunting circumstances. Can companies make an impact with their branding efforts when they cannot sell their products or services in the moment? And if so, how can they adapt despite the obstacles?

The following strategies are methods to help earn keep your business alive through branding even if selling isn’t possible.

Create Meaningful Content and Publish It Regularly 

There is never a bad time for a business to inspire their targeted buying audience with personalized content that helps solve issues. To do this, companies can publish articles that offer insight and provide tips.

This content will create higher brand recognition and nurture positive sentiment in readers. In fact, 82 percent of consumers feel more positive about a brand after reading content customized for them. (1)

Brands should make sure that when they are developing content, they focus on ideas that can help their audience. They should avoid promoting their own products and services. Readers should also be able to relate to the content that brands publish. Otherwise, they may get turned off and disengage. Just how much?  45 percent of consumers will unfollow a brand on social media if their platform is dominated by self-promotion. (2)

Be Transparent With Messaging 

When companies are focusing on developing their brand instead of selling, it is important to strike a delicate balance between oversharing and not sharing enough. While it is beneficial to show dings in the armor to come across as relatable, they should share the ways their organization is helping its employees, customers and the community at the same time. This will portray the business as a leader to consumers.

Provide Stellar Customer Service 

A company’s brand is made or broken based on customer experiences. Internally, leaders must keep employee morale high, the corporate culture healthy, leadership empathetic and sensitive to workers, and the company’s messaging upfront with employees.

Externally, customer-facing employees must put an extra emphasis on patience, kindness and dedication to customer service. These employees should receive training and quality control checkpoints. It is also imperative for companies to take negative customer feedback and responses seriously.

73 percent of consumers love a brand because of the level of customer service. (3) Therefore, it’s essential that companies must step up to the plate to ensure their service is nothing less than exemplary.

Make an Impact in the Community 

During difficult times, it is easy to get sucked in by the challenges instead of the opportunities that may be available. By pivoting and giving back to the community, everyone wins. The recipients of the acts of kindness get assistance, the community at large benefits, and the business gains the goodwill of its target audience.

Any gestures work, from volunteering at local organizations to participating in a round table discussions about an issue negatively affecting the community.  In fact, 3 percent of consumers are willing to pay 31 percent to 50 percent more for a company’s products or services if they saw they found out that the business was making a positive impact on the world. (4)

Build a Loyal Community of Followers 

A group of loyal customers who advocate for a brand, share their positive experiences both online and offline as well as recommend the business to others leads to bigger and better opportunities. Building the foundation for a beneficial relationship with customers requires focusing interactions, content and messaging on positive customer experiences to create customer loyalty and boost sales conversions long-term.

Treat Branding Like a Business Asset 

Branding is an intangible asset that generates value for a company over time. 77 percent of B2B marketing leaders say branding is critical to growth. (5) While sales teams often claim credit for revenue growth, unfortunately branding efforts are not always attributed to sales activities but should be.

Companies should dig deeper to fully understand their brand equity. Leadership should ask the following questions:

  • How did brand awareness assist in generating interest, attracting leads and creating lasting impressions?
  • How does brand authority impact customer preferences along with pricing?
  • What is the customer loyalty rate, especially where loyalty programs exist?
  • Has brand awareness boosted sales, reduced customer acquisition cost or improved conversion time?

Slow sales stretches do not have to be detrimental for companies. Savvy businesses capitalize on these times to strengthen their brand and set themselves up for many years of success. 

Uncertain times call for creative thinking.  Contact Gavel International to be inspired with solutions that connect and engage your people. 

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SOURCES:

1 https://www.demandmetric.com/content/content-marketing-infographic

2 http://www.buzzstream.com/blog/unfollow-algorithm.html

3 https://curatti.com/branding-facts/

4 https://www.customerthermometer.com/consumers-connecting-with-companies/

5 https://www.circle-research.com/wp-content/uploads/B2B-Branding-Research.pdf

Jim Bozzelli