2021 cannot get here soon enough! The New Year is a time for reflection and to implement change. It is critical that you understand what 2021 will bring and that your business is positioned for the opportunities it will present. Your customers habits and expectations have evolved significantly in the last year. It is time to reestablish your brand and project the confidence the jittery marketplace needs.
The gloom and doom of the nightly news is hard to escape. Many companies have been forced to allow their brands to hibernate and focus on survival. However, the companies that emerge successfully from the pandemic will be those that accurately see the future and prepare for it. Goldman Sachs expectations for 2021 include GDP growth at a 5.3% pace and unemployment rates falling from 6.9% to 5.3%. The arrival of multiple Covid vaccines and a massive stimulus plan in Q1 suggest that 2021 will be a GREAT year!
TIME TO RELAUNCH YOUR BRAND
I have had the good fortune of launching 5 first-year minor league baseball franchises in a 30-year career in the industry. Establishing new brands and building teams is in my DNA. Relaunching your brand and connecting with your customers does not have to be difficult or expensive, but it does need to be thoughtful. After decades of both running and partnering with small businesses around the country, successful brands embrace a few common threads:
- Confidence is Key! - At the most basic level, you are asking your customers to pull money out of their pocket and place it in yours. That requires an incredible level of trust and confidence in you. It is critical that your messaging in the marketplace exude that confidence, particularly in times of uncertainty and fear. You must maintain an ongoing presence in the marketplace and in the minds of your consumers.
- Great Brands Connect Emotionally - Nike (Just Do It), Apple (Think Different), Gatorade (Be Like Mike), and other great brands inspire you with an emotional connection that resonates both consciously and subconsciously. Your website, newsletter, staff, and creative assets must align with the emotional connection to your customer in mind. As society emerges from the physical, mental, and economic malaise caused by the pandemic, customers will gravitate to those brands that feel good. Great marketing creative will both connect emotionally and convey your value proposition.
- Clean, Clear Marketing Plans - Marketing and advertising strategies are not a panacea to address lagging sales or poor retention. To be certain, there are tools at your disposal to address specific initiatives or short-term goals. However, a legitimate marketing strategy must be a clear and consistent investment in your business and how you frame your brand in the marketplace. Simple and clear advertising strategies are available on our website. I encourage everyone to invest 5 minutes to ensure their approach captures the basics used by Fortune 500 companies.
Many businesses are operating with smaller staffs, reduced budgets and shaky consumer confidence. Allocating your resources effectively and efficiently to demonstrate confidence and connect emotionally is not complicated. It does require you to be strategic in how you go to market. When thinking of your strategy, it is important to consider where your customers are and how to connect most easily and affordably. Consider the following:
- Internet usage soared 25% after the pandemic hit in March 2020.
- Americans are consuming 1 Billion more hours of streaming television content since March 2020.
Strategic marketers recognize that their customers have moved to the internet and streaming television in droves. Fortunately, the most affordable CPM’s in the advertising world are in programmatic display advertising (banner ads on web-sites). Highly targeted display campaigns are the most cost-effective way to reestablish your brand presence, build confidence and connect emotionally. Connected TV campaigns deliver high quality non-skippable ads to only your target demo on whichever streaming platform or device they use, which ensures you don’t waste money on a shotgun approach.
SEM, SEO and Social and other channels should continue to play a major role in your customer journey. The role of display campaigns and Connected TV amplifies your message and reinforces the consumers' confidence and emotional connection to your brand as they arrive at their decision.
“The will to win is not nearly so important as the will to prepare to win,” said the great Vince Lombardi.
Last second shots and game winning drives don’t just happen in the moment. They are the byproduct of planning, preparation, and attention to detail. Brighter days are around the corner, but seizing the moment requires preparation now. It’s time to wake up your brand, reestablish your presence in the marketplace and Prepare to Win!