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Pandemic (Re) Positioning: What Companies Can Do To Maintain Relevance As COVID-19 Becomes Endemic

Mar 15, 2022
by Sydney Frenkel
Pandemic (Re) Positioning: What Companies Can Do To Maintain Relevance As COVID-19 Becomes Endemic

As we start to see the light of the end of the COVID-19 tunnel, more companies will undoubtedly look to reframe their brand for a post-pandemic future. What many companies are now acknowledging are the changes in consumer awareness requiring new ways to approach their own relevance while holding their existing customers’ loyalty in a saturated marketplace.  

Did you know more than half of Americans changed their “go-to” brands throughout the pandemic? 

According to an August 2020 article, McKinsey reported 75% of Americans have switched their brand loyalties during the COVID-19 outbreak citing three main tenets: value, availability, and convenience. This implies that there is a significant opportunity to acquire new customers who are shifting their preferences and behaviors as a result of the lifestyle changes they’ve undergone in the last few years. 

Despite the pandemic’s constraints becoming more normalized, consumers continue to rely on the aforementioned tenets, and according to a recent poll, the brands should want to cash in, and do so with a fresh face. Big Drop’s Creative Director, Nic Casey, states the following:

“Users/audiences are wary of traditional branding practices, they yearn for a deeper connection with qualitative companies that share their principles and beliefs. Almost all of the brand repositioning we have engaged in this year not only want to refresh their look and feel but speak to their demographics on a deeper level by fostering a sense of community, corporate social responsibility, and DEI.”

 

The adversity of the last few years has altered the criteria for consumers seeking products and services, namely a greater need for transparency and authenticity, followed very closely by stances on social issues. Among younger generations of consumers, the expectation of businesses to be more environmentally conscious and mission-driven is a main factor when considering any type of purchase.

Brands will need to find strategies to address the pandemic while conveying their value proposition, providing a sense of reassurance and their commitment to weathering an ever-changing future.

Consumer Behavior

Additional research from McKinsey highlights these shifts in consumer behavior, categorized into 5 trends: 

  • Shift to value and essentials – 40% of US consumers said they are more mindful of where they spend their money. 
  • Flight to digital and omnichannel – During the pandemic, the online client base of most spend categories increased by more than 10%. Even when businesses reopen securely, many customers still intend to shop online.
  • Shock to loyalty – Certain products and brands were unable to meet customer demand due to the supply chain disruption. As a result, customers altered their buying habits and were willing to break their loyalties in favor of a new or different brand.
  • Health and the ‘caring’ economy – Consumers are increasingly mindful of how firms connect with stakeholders, local communities, and society at large during these challenging times. Businesses’ responses to the pandemic are likely to be remembered long after COVID-19.
  • Homebody economy – More than 70% of survey participants are hesitant to resume their “regular” out-of-home activities. And, more than 75% who changed their behavior as a result of the pandemic said that reducing government restrictions will not change their cautious attitude.

How to Approach a Rebrand with new Consumer Behaviors

1) Revisit your current mission, vision, and values. Are these pillars still representative of your business?

2) Evaluate your present brand’s “assumed” strength—qualitative, quantitative, and social media.

3) Pay attention to your existing and prospective customers, the market, your competitors, and your changing environment.

4) Consider which aspects of your business must remain constant and which must, and can afford to, change.

5) Define your rebranding strategy’s purpose: (i.e. crisis management, new mission or vision for your company, market repositioning, merger, new location, etc.)

6) Design for both stability and agility.

7) Run a test with your existing consumer base. Ask your customers

8) Plan the launch and communicate your changes by leveraging your consumers.

In times of rapid change, strong brand foundations, including a deep understanding of consumers and markets, a creatively defined purpose, and a focus on the brand experience, are especially important. To drive both brand perception and business performance, all must be given equal attention and implemented with care and an unwavering rationale. Kaity Ayuso says:

“When making purchasing decisions, consumers are looking for points of parity with brands. Finding a way to differentiate your brand comes down to more than just what your product can do for consumers, beyond what your competitors do. Earning consumer loyalty centers around conveying your brand’s values, purpose, and priorities in an authentic way, helping to paint a vivid picture of how your brand can mesh with your audience’s lifestyle choices while highlighting any alignment on purpose-driven matters that may resonate with consumers”.

Final Thoughts

Brands. Are. Everywhere. Logos, experiences, concepts campaigns, and values make up our everyday. When we consider the world of digital, brand exposure grows and reveals how closely they are intertwined with our lives.

Rebranding should be a strong consideration for any company looking to modernize, distinguish themselves from their competition, or even escape a bad reputation. Modernizing a brand image is necessary to accelerate growth.

Do you need a brand refresh? Get in touch with Big Drop today to start planning your brand’s future.

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