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How to adapt your business and prosper during COVID-19

 

We are now over half way through 2020 and four months into the COVID-19 pandemic. We now live in a socially distanced society where it seems that we may have to get used to things being different and adapt to the new normal. 

There are not many businesses that are not impacted in one way or another. Maybe your product is no longer in demand or you need to target a new kind of customer. What is clear though, is that standing still, and waiting for the world to get back to normal, is a losing strategy. Many previously strong and successful businesses will fail more rapidly than at any time in recent memory. 

Yet it is not all bad. New businesses are springing up. Existing businesses are shifting their focus towards new products and new customers. Those that adapt will survive and flourish whilst those that stand still will wither and die. 


What will you do: Pivot or pause? 

In this article we want to demonstrate how you can reposition your business in the minds of your prospective customers. We will then look at how this will allow you to introduce new products and services and seize the opportunities that the new normal presents. 


Positioning – the battle for your customer’s mind 

Your customers probably have an idea what you do. But, if you are now looking to do something different, does your position in your customer’s mind hold you back? What if you could reposition your business so customers understood the new you? It can be done. But it needs to be done consistently so you can let this flow through all communications and marketing. 

Positioning is the key and how you will seize the opportunity and transition your business from the old world to the new world. 

But what is positioning? More marketing jargon? Certainly, positioning is an abstract sounding marketing term, but it’s merely the idea that defines your business in the minds of your customers. If it’s strong, it can give your business the edge that makes your customers choose you over your competition. If it’s weak or saturated, you’ll be left in the dust. 

A powerful positioning statement drives your marketing plan; every decision you make for your marketing needs to be aligned, it helps you to focus on your brand and your value proposition, while you work on market strategy and tactics. 

Certainly, if your existing products and services are in less demand, you need to change the position of your business in your prospect’s mind to open the door to new products and services and the opportunities that the new normal presents. 

 

 

How to reposition your business during COVID-19

Before you focus on your repositioning strategy, the first stop is usually an in-depth discovery phase that could take many months. However, in the current climate, you need to focus on speed, trust your intuition and flex your current understanding of the market. 

To get the creative juices flowing we have outlined some research short-cuts that will help you pitch develop your new positioning statement. 

 

        • List out your target audiences (there may be more than one) If you’re not sure who your buyers are then you can identify them with a quick assessment of your website and social analytics. Use these stats to confirm or expand on your existing knowledge. Please give them a name, e.g. Josie the CEO, Sally the stay-at-home mum. This approach helps you understand them as individuals rather than a group of people.

           

        • Write a summary statement for each of your target audiences – what do you know about them? Go beyond the basic demographics of how old they are and where they live and think about what drives them and bring them to life through your summary statement. Then, put yourself in their shoes and consider how the pandemic has impacted them. What has changed for them?

           

        • Now think about what problem your business solves for them. What needs does your business satisfy? Are they the same as pre-pandemic, or have they changed?

           

        • What is the most critical factor in their decision to buy? How has this changed since the pandemic arrived? Have the barriers they face before purchase changed?

           

        • Now, go through your company’s reviews, complaints and feedback – what comes up consistently? Take note of all the keywords.

           

        • Review your competitors’ positioning, because the whole point is that your offer is unique. What are their strengths and weaknesses and how do they compare to yours? Think about why someone would choose a competitor brand over yours.

           

        • Finalise your positioning statement. Now, with the pandemic challenges in mind and armed with the above considerations, write your new positioning statement. The wording should be clear and unambiguous. The statement should sum up what truly matters to your target audience, the triggers that make them say yes and barriers that make them say no. It should differentiate you and make your products and services desirable.


How to use your brand positioning statement 

Now that you’ve written your brand positioning statement, you must use it as your north star and allow it to guide your marketing plan.

All your business and marketing decisions and everything you do should amplify your positioning, from your current communication, to which new products and services you launch next, through to which businesses to partner with and everything in between. So take a look at your existing marketing plan and review what needs to change to bring it in line with your new positioning.

Every piece of content you create must communicate some aspect of the statement. Your positioning should influence all of your brand’s communication; it drives what you say, how you say it and also where you communicate.  Consider each of your marketing channels and their role in your marketing strategy and list out the content that needs to be evolved or created with this new positioning statement in mind.

An example of this could be the role of your social media for customer service – what new content do you need to start creating to address some of the new barriers to purchase you have identified? Are there new frequently asked questions you need to address through social media? Or, perhaps you need to review the function of your website’s product pages for a customer approaching their purchase, armed with your new insights around how the pandemic has changed things for your customers, do you need to update the copy? What about your email marketing? How do you need to evolve your copy to hit the newly identified pain points, or opportunities for your customers and prospects?

The pandemic has created a lot of challenges, but also a lot of opportunities for brands that are ready to reposition and reevaluate their marketing strategy. It’s time to dig deep, put yourself in your customers’ shoes and identify how your business needs to adapt to meet the new needs of the market. And it all starts with a repositioning statement. So what are you waiting for?

 

Download your free positioning statement template. All you need to do is fill in the blanks, and your brand will be ready to pivot and take on the post-pandemic world of business.

Just fill out the form below to receive your template download link via email.

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