Retaining brand value in a time of Covid-19
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CAPE TOWN - The chaos caused by the Covid-19 pandemic has forced businesses across the world rethink how they position their brands and connect to their market, Chief Marketing Officer at African Bank Sbusiso Kumalo said.
The pandemic has forced businesses to give a fresh voice through innovative strategies that are relevant to the new world but still maintain brand value, he said.
“For centuries, the world has witnessed brands adapt to the changes each industrial revolution required, some failed and had to close down. However, with innovation the rules don't change - all that is required by this new world is to be creative, renew and be strategic in implementation processes to continue to appeal to the market, be relevant and still have competitive advantage and presence in the market,” Kumalo said.
He said that in the midst of the fourth Industrial revolution (4IR) most marketers understood that our world has become fast-paced due to high-technology, which makes it a challenge for brands to make an impression and capture the hearts of its loyal customers.
Kumalo believes that for transformation to be sustainable it has to start on the inside.
“For an innovation strategy to be effectively implemented, one needs to have a creative mind, imaginative, know the basics, understand the soul of the business, be passionate to drive change and be updated with industry trends,” he said.
“The pandemic has given us a chance to re-evaluate how we conduct business and connect with the market but it did not destroy the culture of innovation, it forced us to take up the challenges that came with digital transformation in a short-space of time.
’This is not new in the marketing world, we have a duty to ensure that the organisations we serve do not miss out. Therefore innovation is a priority, especially now.”
Kumalo added that to create brand value that matters and connects to the market, “it is important for each department in the business to be aligned before customers are engaged. When there’s a disconnect the business will most likely not achieve it’s goals.
“The key for businesses to retain brand value is to not stop advertising and communicating with their customers simply because of the pandemic. As customers move more towards digital so do brands. If your company didn’t have a digital strategy in place now is a good time to start working and creating that,” Kumalo said.
“Customers tend to connect with brands that are authentic and this is a good time for brands to also add empathy because of how the pandemic has impacted a lot of people. This means the language and tone of voice needs to reflect that as best as possible. The customer you will serve is also dealing with a lot, loss of employment or losing a relative or friend so brands need to take this into account.”