When it comes to image, what matters most is not necessarily what is but what seems to be. In times of crisis, consumers are subconsciously drawn to a sense of security and stability.
The waves of the great British public (and other nations) heading to the supermarkets to stockpile is a great example of our human need to be in control. It turns out that as a large non-perishable item, toilet roll became irrationally popular.
This is of course not because of its usefulness in the days to come but because of the feeling of control its size gave to consumers.
In contrast, sales of the once popular mainstream pale lager, Corona, have fallen drastically as misinformation has spread.
Whilst every business seeks to offer a truly valuable product, the power of a brand cannot be ignored. Starbucks has become synonymous for friendship and conversation (not necessarily great coffee) whilst McDonalds has become a beacon of happiness for children across the globe.
Simply put, brands have an opportunity right now to showcase their strength, heart and humanity in the midst of the current health crisis.
And as many suffer very real health and economic fallout, we’re seeing that marketing and staffing budgets are being cut left, right and centre. For the savvy, therein lies a particular opportunity to maximise brand presence and communicate a powerful message to an audience.
Regardless of whether your business or brand has been affected negatively or positively, there has never been a better time to establish brand awareness.
Here are some quick keys to maximising brand presence:
1. Embrace the space
Things have changed. Your customers are spending more time in one particular place. Not just at home of course but online and not just online but on social media channels. Even better (for a brand trying to engage customers), many are bored and looking for distraction. Enter your brand. Suddenly there has been a dramatic increase of social media traffic as the nation and nations are on everything from Instagram to TikTok and more.
It’s important that we recognise where people are and for us to adjust our resource investment accordingly.
If we want to reach people then it pays to start where they are (not where we would prefer them to be).
2. Focus on what you control
Certain niches and industries are doing very well. And unfortunately some are not. If the market has fallen against you then don’t overly worry about what is out of your hands. Instead use this opportunity to focus on what you can control; establishing your reputation as an expert in your field, adding value, care and helpful insight into the world at large.
Position yourself not just as a brand that cares but also as a brand who can see a new future unfolding.
People are looking for hope like never before and if we can be patient and hold off our practical need to over sell then we’re going to be in a much stronger position in the months to come.
3. Seize the window
Every day is a window of opportunity for us to take a hold of when it comes to social media. To make the point easy to understand, most of us would agree that posting once a day for a week would be better than posting seven posts in a single day. That’s because there are windows every day to reach different people with different sorts of content. Social media algorithms are designed to reward people who engage regularly with them. The same is true for brands. Why would this be?
Because Instagram and other platforms are only interested in holding your attention.
They want you to spend as much time on their platform as possible. Every day that goes without a post is a day of missed opportunity. There is organic reach right now (the ability to freely share your ideas with people who may not yet know you or your brand) that may not be there forever. Take a hold of the moment and lean into the possibilities.
4. Go big or go home
The rewards of the next season will be proportional to the investment today. We’re all familiar with the concept of delayed gratification. It’s impossible to reap something you haven’t sown for and the more you sow, the bigger the harvest. That is going to look different for every business or brand but for those who have the ability to invest in brand awareness and social media presence, now is the perfect time to do so. And for those with more limited budgets, it’s well worth strongly re-evaluating your priorities.
5. Tell real stories
User-generated content is powerful. Share real stories where your brand isn’t the hero. Become a cheerleader of the ordinary people you seek to serve.
When you make other people look good, it’s impossible not to position your brand in a place of strength.
Because lifting others is what strong people do. There’s a wealth of stories to tell in the middle of a crisis. From the health workers battling the front line to the friendly neighbour who picks up shopping for someone more vulnerable, dig a little deeper and you’re well on your way to tapping into the power of brand presence.
Here at BoltLDN, we spend our time carefully nurturing and empowering brands to do just that. This present time holds a powerful opportunity for your business to get ahead. We’d love to help – just drop an email to [email protected] and we’ll be in touch.