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Utility brand before COVID-19

How to be a utility brand in COVID-19 times?

The issue continues to go around the world, we are being bombarded by both true and false information about this new public enemy called COVID-19, popularly known as “coronavirus”. At the business level, we see how businesses are suffering strong impacts on cash flow and liquidity, from gigantic retail chains to small local coffee shops. Above all these adversities, we also see a growing trend to renew business models and digitize them, not only to sustain the operation of the business but also to avoid contagion and promote the health of both employees and clients.

There are still businesses that do not know how to start this transformation process and go further, to meet the needs of their customers, needs that today are very different from those they had prior to the COVID-19 emergency. This change is transforming the way people buy due to the emergence of new purchasing needs that have to do with connectivity and savings.

Next I will explain the new customer journey that is taking place due to the international emergency and how your brand could not only meet the needs of your customers but also help locally.

The new customer journey: “Adjust, Peak, Recover”

The following client travel framework that we share with you is based on 3 phases which are located at very specific moments of the COVID-19 emergency in the country where you are.

Adjust Phase

In the “adjust” phase, consumers are finding out about logistics and trying to work through it, all while being confused with the vast information that exists about the virus. Very little is known about the disease and the true impact of it is overlooked. What should a brand do at a time when people are preparing to stay home?

They must add value to people’s lives,at this time it must be empathetic,understanding that people’s lives are changing, that our freedom to live our lives as we want is being challenged. Giving solutions that help people deal with this new reality.

Peak Phase

In the “peak” phase, we find ourselves in a land of limbo where your consumers and employees juggle home, work and life, all without a definite light at the end of the tunnel. How does the role of your brand change while your consumers are at home?

Recover Phase

In the “recovery” phase, we find ourselves at a time where tourism picks up again, quarantine and social isolation are less rigid and the economy will begin to improve as the months go by. What is the new relationship of your product / service with consumers?

Graphic Framework

We can observe the framework in a more visual way, taking it as an example to build your strategies and tactics for this and future months.

Graphic Framework

Your brand needs to be useful in the new states of need of daily life.

We are at a time when people are not very sure how they are going to obtain the products or services they need. Brands must meet those immediate needs in creative ways.

Your brand needs to make empathy a “super power”

Take as an example a company in Costa Rica that chose one of its most vulnerable audiences, made available part of its fleet of vehicles for rental at the hands of the Costa Rican Government. In alliance with the Costa Rican Social Security Fund, they were able to deliver medicines to the population most at risk in the country.

Take what you do and apply it to one of the many new challenges people face.

Find your core support in the communities your brand serves

Your brand needs to think locally. As we said in advance, this can be a time to think small and local. How can your brand be available to the communities where you live / work / do business?

Ask yourself:

  • Do you know how your brand is already impacting the community?
  • How are businesses and the community interacting?
  • Where physically in the community can your brand appear to help?

This represents a change in behavior and consumption habits and therefore opens an opportunity for brands to create new habits that favor them.
The best way to influence the consumer now is through empathy and helping them through this crisis with dignity, entertainment and relaxation.

Although these are very uncertain moments, do not stop thinking that behind each device there are people who are waiting for a motivational and optimistic message to help them cope with this emergency. Your brand can today more than ever be an ally to meet the needs of your customers, therefore, being a useful brand in times of COVID-19 is:

  1. Adapt the current strategy with the new customer journey and formulate solutions that attack the new needs of your customers.
  2. Do not lose sight of your primary business objective. It is an ideal time to create new ways of doing business, digitize your operation and even create social responsibility programs.
  3. Think local and support your community with the help that your product or service can give.

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