Build Your Brand for 2021

This has been quite a year! The good news – it’s almost over!

As we expect more closures for the holidays, it’s time to consider how to keep your brand in front of your consumers.

Are wondering how to address your audience during this holiday season? Here are a few suggestions to make the best of everything.

Add that Human Touch:

To give your brand a human touch, associate your products and services to a relatable experience. Tap into a lifestyle and a culture. Do this by creating an environment so that a consumer has an affinity for your product. For example, we associate Starbucks with feelings of comfort and community. Our morning coffee is as personal as our morning routine. This is how Starbucks humanized their brand.

Branding Factors to Consider:

  • Be consistent: A brand can be forgettable if it doesn’t have a consistent identity.
  • Tug at an emotional string: A consumer should feel an emotional connection with your brand. We have a holiday season with no family! Consider offering comfort through peaceful imagery and words of wisdom.
  • Make it an easy choice: A brand with a culture and a community will be an easy choice over any competitor. Especially if yours is relatable.

Solve A Problem:

Addressing pain points and offering solutions is the best way to get to an audience and to build word of mouth. Now in times of crisis, you can offer help, support, kindness. Reevaluate your brand messages and take a problem-solving stance. Ask yourself: “How can you help your consumers?”

Problem-Solving Factors to Consider:

  • Your brand identity: Have a tagline that offers a solution. The COVID crisis is offering brands opportunities for imaginative solutions. Take a look at MacDonald’s separated arches. How can we forget “Together at Home” taglines appearing everywhere?
  • Check your positioning: Position your brand as a solutions company. Don’t just say it! But act it! Everything your brand does should reflect a clear positioning. Offer help and give help. How can you be of assistance during closures? Holidays? It starts from the top down. Today many companies have measures in place to support COVID. Make sure yours does as well. This is an example of mindful branding.

Nurture a Relationship:

I mentioned “Mindful” above. Mindful content focuses on the user’s sensitivities. It is important that a brand finds ways to support the community by considering a user’s needs during a major crisis. Build campaigns that unite us. Get personal: “We are in this together!” Be supportive, give back and educate.

Nurturing Ideas to Consider:

  • Improve customer experience: Think of ways you can improve customer relations. Special hours? Home deliveries? Zoom calls? What does your customer need during these times? Real estate companies can do virtual tours. Beauty salons can assist clients via Zoom. My beautician dropped off a hair color kit and sent me a video on how to apply it.
  • Support the community: How can you be of service? How can you give back? If your community relies on your brand, you can offer a valuable service. A suggestion would be to make online shopping an easy and pleasant experience. If you own a restaurant offer to bring your restaurant online, invite people to cook and eat. Or just send out menu ideas for the holidays, like this example using Flipboard.
  • Build a community: Look for commonalities and cultural experiences your brand can offer a community. Check social media to see where your brand fits in. Take the space launch. How can you bring your community together to watch?

Show Empathy:

Empathy is key. Put yourself in the consumer’s place. Be in the moment and approach a situation with compassion. It’s been a difficult 2020, but 2021 will be better.

Ideas to Ponder:

  • Offer a dream: If you are a travel agency showcase your destinations. Dreaming helps people deal with a crisis.
  • Think of your brand as a “Caretaker”: Make yourself useful. Build trust by showing interest in your consumer and their needs. Share upbeat messages via your social media channels. Send “We are thinking of you” email notes.
  • Everyone loves humor and entertainment: As long as your approach is tasteful. Humor can work wonders in difficult cases. If you can make your audience laugh, they will thank you later. I recommend using memes to convey humor.
  • Take time and patience to understand. You can achieve this with customer service and social media

Use Advocates:

Allow your advocates and influencers to support and reinforce your messaging. User content and recommendations work wonders. How-to videos, tips, or suggestions can fill up time for consumers looking for bargains and shopping ideas.

Influencer Suggestions to Consider:

  • Influencers have loyal followers: They can tap into their followers and speak on your behalf. Look around you and ask yourself who influences you? I like the practical lifestyle. A recent post on Instagram showed a woman wearing comfy clothing. I happen to follow this person and decided to purchase.
  • Influencers build trust: They have established follower trust through personal relationships built over the years. You can leverage this to your advantage.
  • Influencers help make the sale: I am not an influencer for any of these companies. But I organized my whole kitchen by getting tips from @TheContainerStore and Horderly. There you go! Here’s an advocate (me) making a recommendation. You as a consumer might choose to trust my recommendation. If you do, then they have a sale!
  • Influencers are genuine: They create authentic and useful content. They are very savvy about their audience’s needs and are able to provide them with the content they seek.

The Bottom Line:

We must go on. Business is not dead; we simply have to reinvent ourselves to accommodate changing times. But if you think hard enough do you really? Your branding arsenal might already be in place for 2021. Just use it!

Feel free to add your thoughts and comments @janettespeyer on Twitter.


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