June 19, 2020
For many of us the pandemic has challenged our businesses. Even the strongest of brands have had to find ways to stay in touch with their communities & customers by adapting their services and products. Restaurants very quickly started to provide online ordering, delivery and take away services, fitness instructors, who lost their income overnight, took their sessions online, many not charging, in the hope that it will continue to build on their communities for when the ‘new normal’ starts. Beauticians started to focus on product-based selling rather than giving their normal face to face services.
Some business transformations have been even more dramatic. Manufacturing companies turned to producing PPE and some breweries pivoted to make hand sanitizer.
Many brands realised very quickly that their digital store front has never been so important. Customer behaviour changed dramatically and they are now more digitally savvy than ever, with heightened expectations for digital experiences. Brands must deliver on this.
They also realised their limitations in their data, e-commerce and technology, the need to deliver better quality customer engagement is now high.
Brands are looking forward to returning to normal, but they need to be planning for the ‘new normal’. This pandemic has changed customer behaviour, and I cannot see it going back to the ‘old normal’ – I think it will be a mix of both.
If we use restaurants as an example, they may decide to continue their takeaway and delivery services. The same as someone who moved their face to face consultations online. It’s a much more flexible option that could be a permanent part of their business strategy. Universities have been forced to evolve to video conferencing solutions instead of classrooms. With the cost of higher education and student loans worrying these generations and students becoming comfortable with this lower-cost alternative, will COVID-19’s impact disrupt the entire system?
The global pandemic has questioned our way of working and brands now need to look at the changes that they made, the ones that have been embraced by their customers and ensure that they continue to provide the same service moving forward.
The brands that emerge strongest on the other side of this crisis will be the ones that took the time to deepen their connections with their customers and communities, rather than merely adding to the COVID noise.
How has Covid-19 changed your business?