January 20, 2021|
5 min read
What Matters Most for Brands is People!
There’s little doubt that 2020 was a different year and for better or for worse, 2021 seems to be following in the same vein. As this year moves forward, we’re going to see more changes. A lot of us are hoping we’ll see changes in a more positive direction, but we're also not sure what the year has in store.
With that in mind, we want to be ready to face whatever the year will bring us.
So, what do brands need to do this year? I’d say we need to refocus on what’s actually important. That, of course, means getting “back to basics.” And that means going back to the roots of our brands.
People are our Greatest Assets
A lot of businesses ended up laying people off or even closing their doors last year. More layoffs and entire industries are being threatened every day in the news. Businesses that have kept operating may have pared back teams. Plans for hiring—particularly in some industries and some departments—went on ice for a lot of us.
This year, if and when confidence returns to the market, we would assume there will be a return to hiring. But this entire pandemic, has changed behaviour. Companies are realizing that working remotely, shared office space may be working for some, while others over the past 10 months have seen a decline in productivity. So, returning to work and hiring will likely need to be more methodical…fewer hires at a slower pace until the new reality becomes stable. There’s a few reasons for this.
First, we're not sure about the environment around us. Even if things did seem to be going in the right direction, we do not trust that the situation won’t turn around pretty suddenly. So, we’re going to be more cautious.
Second, skills required may have changed. Business may have pivoted to new channels, new products, new services….all of which may require a broader or different range of skills to help build everlasting brand relationships.
Thirdly, the values and belief structure of our team members is more important than ever. Why? The majority vs. the minority may need to live our brands and cultures remotely. Where possible, we want to hire, to some extent, brand fanatics—not just people who are looking for any job at all.
Build A Relationship With Your Most Valuable Customer
With perhaps smaller teams and smaller budgets it will be crucial to get back to the basics—the core of our brands.
Why is this the right approach? Because this gives us a framework to make effective decisions. It helps create the construct to simple, straight-forward messaging. It speaks to relationships we’ve already built with customers and strengthens them.
To strengthen those connections with your most valuable customer, helps protect a brand through the ebbs and flows of uncertain times. Understanding the why, and communicating it effectively demonstrates an authentic understanding and respect for our customer. Why they chose our brand is the roadmap to most effectively attract new customers who are seeking to have similar needs fulfilled.
If your brand is growing, do you understand why? Do your customers feel valued? Will your customers stay with you during the ebbs and flows of business? Did you hire team members who are living your brand or companies higher purpose? Do you feel your customer and brand?
It is all connected.
Right now especially, we’re better off reinforcing the relationships we’ve already built. We should also make sure that new relationships are built from the essence of the brand to ensure we’re building on sturdy ground. If we’re hasty or build these relationships without solid roots, we’re not going to be able to maintain these relationships during rough times. In the meantime, the ones we built with our first best customers start falling into disrepair.
By ensuring the essence of our brand is clear, a construct exists to help make decisions in a controlled way, one that focuses on strengthening those existing consumer relationships and building solid new ones.
I think that’s where our brands should be focusing this year. Ask yourself, do you know the why or essence of your brand? 2021 may be a challenging year again, but a roadmap will build confidence throughout the organization. And it will reinforce to our customers that they made a smart choice choosing our brand in the first place.
So as we focus on what we want to do this year, remember to start with the why!
Here to inspire and create conversation!
I am a business person who has excelled in driving a competitive edge through marketing, strategy, innovation, building irresistible brands and unlocking the genius that exists. I am writing to inspire or create new consideration. If you have ideas or questions that you would like me to put a pen too, I would be delighted.
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