What a year it’s been! The devastation associated with the pandemic has touched all of us and I hope this finds you in a healthier and more positive space. Thankfully, vaccinations are being rapidly dispersed, and the world appears to be on its way back (save for the good old’ “hot spots”). I won’t say “back to normal,” because – frankly – we don’t know what that is yet, but what will your brand look like going forward?
When it comes to your brand, the same thinking applies, and questions abound. How are you planning to move forward? “What does your brand look like?” “How will you portray customers, with or without masks?” “When will you go full throttle?”
Therefore, brand planners in all industries are actively game-planning the return of their brands and we have already begun to see shifts in their advertising away from the “together” message back and toward the competitive spin. No more kumbaya!
Here’s our thinking on some of these key questions:
- How are you planning to move forward? Most brand planners we have met with are planning slowly and nimbly. With rises in cases still in Europe and some major U.S. cities, most are being cautious. It’s not a “wait and see” mode, more of a “let’s go, slow” gear.
- What does your brand look like? This past year has given many brands a chance to re-boot their strategy, either on a similar pre-Covid track or a new one entirely. Many marketers have used this time to confirm their desired position or make competitive changes that require a different strategy. For some, due to financial issues or opportunities brought about by the pandemic, they have integrated with other companies and now require a completely new look and feel. Best advice – revisit your market position goal and make sure it’s still relevant and appropriate for today’s market.
- How will you portray your customers? This is a question we’re asked a lot. Should images show people wearing masks or should our ads reflect the future of larger gatherings without them? The best answer (we think) is to create an evolution or staged strategy that reflects current social norms and CDC guidelines. Photo libraries will most likely have to be built over time versus stocked at one shooting.
- When will you go full throttle? Many big brands have turned up the gas on their spending and competitive messaging. Revenue-generation is “job one” for most brand marketers after sitting on the sidelines and watching sales flatline for the past year. We concur – it’s time to generate sales and customer traffic to your sites (online and inline). Be mindful of the thoughts above but let the throttle out.
Have questions or want to talk about your brand moving forward – call me at 847.398.4920 or email at Rob@springboardbrand.com.