5 ways for Belfast businesses to approach branding post-lockdown
As Belfast shops prepare to reopen, it is difficult to say how different businesses and consumer behaviour will change.
What is for sure is that people are already desperate to get out and shop, eat, and drink, and businesses will soon experience a surge in demand and footfall.
If you want people to come to your door first, now is the time to get your name out there. Here are our top tips for raising awareness early and building a stronger brand going forward:
1. Be distinctive
You might have an advertising campaign that generates a huge amount of attention, but if the audience is unable to identify the tone or creative as your own then all of the views aren’t worth much to your business.
The best way to stand out against potential competitors on the high street is to clearly define the vision, purpose, values, positioning and overarching experience of your brand. This could mean anything from your typography and bespoke imagery, to your logo. Finding out what makes you unique will help you connect with your audience.
Once you’ve found your voice, keep everything consistent across your advertising content, social channels and website. Whether you’re formal and serious or sarky and quirky, as long as you stay true to your personality your customers will recognise your worth. After all, 86% of consumers value brands that are authentic.
2. Know the market
When it comes to creating a strong brand, it’s important you know as much about your competition as you can.
Start with who they are targeting and what they are doing differently to reach their demographic. The pandemic continues to put businesses like yours to test, so analyse the strategies your rivals are using to overcome this economic overturn.
Before lockdown ends and businesses start competing frantically for attention, keep yourself informed. This means knowing which platforms are trending, what marketing campaigns are popular and the specific products that are in high demand.
3. Build your online presence
The reopening of the high street will allow you to interact with your customers face to face again. But for 97% of consumers, the internet remains the best place to search for local businesses.
It makes sense then to make a great impression on your online customers, first. And the best place to start is with a digital marketing campaign. From banner ads and web page takeovers, to paid social and video, online advertising is a great way to promote your products to a wide audience.
Alongside your campaigns, it’s important you build up your organic search presence. This means updating your information in business directories like Google My Business, creating and updating your own website, interacting with your audience on social media and even writing (or hiring people to write on your behalf) relevant blog posts or sponsored content.
Already online? Find out if you could go further with this free digital check-up.
4. Support your community
The implications of the pandemic has resulted in plenty of struggling individuals and small businesses needing help, providing the perfect opportunity for other organisations to flex their charitable muscle.
Two-thirds of consumers prefer to buy from a socially conscious brand, so simply taking an active role in helping your community is a great way to generate interest. This can mean showing your support through the #supportlocal hashtag on social media, or hosting virtual fundraising events.
Now that restrictions are easing, it is the perfect time to communicate the positive impact your brand made during the recent lockdown, for example if you offered NHS discounts, as well as what more you can do for your community once your stores reopen.
5. Review (and revise) your strategy
Everyone’s priorities have changed since the start of the pandemic, meaning it’s the perfect time to review your campaigns and find out how you can better adapt to this post-pandemic world.
Whether that be changing the product you sell or updating your services, the most reactive businesses and marketing campaigns will be the most successful.
Make stronger connections with customers by asking for feedback via reviews, polls or surveys. The next step is to find out how to extend your reach by gaining insight on your website and campaign performance in the last 12 months, for example by analysing your page views or traffic.
At JPIMedia Local, we offer our customers brand lift reports that provide a detailed overview of how their ads are performing and the overall brand impact. Contact a member of our team for more information.
Building a strong brand post-pandemic
Life after lockdown will look a lot different to earlier this year, and if you want to not only adapt but thrive in this new normal, it’s vital you start building brand awareness now.
Get in touch today for expert advice on improving your branding ahead of the reopening of the high street.