It’s nothing new to say that the world we live in today is not the same world we lived in just a month ago. I don’t know if we will ever be the same, but one thing is for certain: Brands and marketers need to change with the times or be left behind.
I had the distinct honor and privilege to join my friend Erica Powell, marketing and branding extraordinaire and business coach this morning on her Facebook Live ‘Lifestyle Lately’ interview series, which she recently launched to help entrepreneurs maintain a positive mindset in their business and get advice from experts on how to successfully navigate these turbulent times.
Our discussion focused on brand messaging and how brands and marketers can create positive and proactive messaging that accommodates the times while allowing them to stay afloat.
The main thing to keep in mind when it comes to your messaging is to meet your audience where they are RIGHT NOW- not where they were a month ago. Be sensitive to where your audience is in their lives, their work and their minds. People are losing their jobs or clients. They can’t leave their homes. Their kids are home from school. Families that normally only see each other in the mornings and evenings are now stuck together 24/7. They don’t even know if they can buy toilet paper, eggs, milk, or other necessities. Who the heck knows what’s going to happen to our economy after this?
When communicating with your audience, Powell suggests that entrepreneurs take the “shoe on the other foot” approach:
“You have clients and customers on the other side who are also living in a period of uncertainty right now. I’ve been encouraging clients to take an educational tone in their marketing and share proactive ways that people can move forward in their business.”
In that same vein, it’s important to uplift and empower your audience. So many people feel dis-empowered right now, especially if they’ve lost their jobs, or their business has taken a nosedive. People are feeling a bit disenfranchised. Brands need to lift up their audience and give them hope.
Businesses need to lead by example. It’s a good time to talk about mission and talk about heart, whether you are operating a for-profit business or nonprofit organization. Your audience needs to feel taken care of now and in the future.
This is also a great time of innovation. We are seeing how business owners are getting creative and thinking outside the box to keep their business afloat during this time: A caterer who can’t do events right now, so he or she is making full family to-go meals; or an accountant who always worked in his or her clients’ offices are now going completely virtual, which allows them to take on more clients and pivot their business model.
Powell also recommends that if you are a service provider, it’s important to set your business up now for future success and help your clients do the same.
“Just because some parts of the economy or certain industries are suffering, there are still many sectors that can continue to move forward. If this is a time for you to help people; if this is a time when people are open to that help, you should continue to do what you do and communicate that through your messaging and marketing by saying: ‘Hey, I’m still here. I’m still open for business. If you need help setting up your business for the future, please reach out.’ I think that people are still open and receptive to that.”
Here’s are some things I recommend when it comes to brands and their current day messaging and marketing:
- Focus on foundational things, especially you are in pre-launch or launch phase. If you are already established, look to ways to you can innovate and expand.
- Let go of what you can’t do right now and focus on what you can do: Create content; engage with your audience; develop new offers and services, etc.
- Do some PR. What are you doing for the community during this time? How are you giving back?
- Put the focus back on your brand for now. How are you positioning yourself for the future?
- See how you can help your audience without selling to them. Let them know that you’re there if and when they need you.
Business as usual isn’t usual any more. We all have to make adjustments to accommodate what’s going on in the world, and that includes the messages we put out there.
If you’d like to check out the full interview, go to https://www.facebook.com/ericapowellofficial/videos/271455620518322/
Stay well, my friends.