Accept, adapt and move on. An alternative based on Strategic Branding
Brands are facing a new challenge. Consumer habits have changed worldwide due to the crisis and, in the case of Cuba, their ability to adapt and innovate will be tested. However, even in the midst of this situation, strategic opportunities are arising.
To manage brands in this new context, SMG proposes three basic actions to the entrepreneurial community: Accept, Adapt and Move on.
This is the best place to start. We cannot resign ourselves to or deny reality; on the contrary, we must strive to understand it and seek the best alternatives to boost our brand.
The targets initially defined for 2020 no longer apply. We recommend redefining a maximum of three targets and focusing work on consolidating them. In many respects, the brand will need to be reoriented and it is important to do this gradually. The objectives will depend on the type of business, its strengths and weaknesses, the product and/or service life cycle phase, and the brand’s prominence, among other factors.
In a very short time a new scenario has been created. It is necessary to update our value proposition to offer a better response to the current needs of our customers. However, this decision cannot be taken lightly, as we are modifying one of the core aspects of the brand. The goal will be to maintain brand identity based on the most solid elements, but at the same time generate the highest possible liquidity.
On the other hand, it is necessary to remain alert to the evolution of the environment. The international situation and the measures that the country adopts will undoubtedly influence the performance of the brand. Entrepreneurs’ intuition will continue to play an important role when making decisions, but it is vital to be supported by reliable information.
Inside the business, processes must be geared and focused towards meet the value proposition of the brand. It is necessary to make them more efficient and competitive. It is highly beneficial to trigger a process of continuous improvement and innovation, through the definition of indicators, the establishment of measurement criteria and the systematic analysis of results. If you want to know whether you are making losses that you are unaware of, define indicators and establish measurement criteria.
If you already have a well-adjusted value proposition, take care of every detail of performance because, at the moment of truth, your brand cannot afford to disappoint your customers. Brand image management is a permanent task.
The people involved in your team are a key factor. With their work, they not only drive the business forward, but become brand ambassadors. Engage your employees, share the business vision and the actions to achieve it, even if this requires the time to motivate and listen.
The brand experience remains a key point. From the very first contact, the client is part of an experience. Make sure your brand’s performance exceeds their expectations. Review every moment of the process and define your strengths and weaknesses. Work on them and implement improvement opportunities as soon as possible. Surprise your customers by delivering the product/service they expect and if you can, by exceeding their expectations. This is the best opportunity you will have to retain your customers.
Communicating is not just saying something, you have to know how to say it. Connecting with the customer is the key to long-lasting relationships that encourage sales. Therefore, don’t eliminate your communications budget: optimize it. Select the tools that can have the greatest impact on the level of exposure to your clients. You need to establish a dialogue, but don’t bombard them. Remember that the repetition of messages must be moderated.
Finally, always remember to take a break; undertake systematic actions for physical, social/emotional, mental and spiritual renewal. Take time to take care of your body, your family, your friends, read a good book, listen to music, meditate… in short, choose what you consider the most appropriate way to truly “switch off.”
Managing the brand is always a strategic necessity. Remember that once you are in the market you are already communicating. Your brand positioning will be due, to a great extent, to systematic, flexible and creative work.
Never give up. Courage is also demonstrated day by day, constantly trying until you succeed.