In business, they say “adapt or get left behind.”
2020 has turned the pace of adaptation from a steady march into a sprint. Global pandemics and social unrest have put us in a phase of rapid change that makes it difficult to make plans for next month, much less create a ten-year strategy. So, where do you turn to figure out how to adjust your business on the fly?
In the immortal words of the Wizard of Oz to Dorthy, “You’ve had the power all along.” The answer lies within your brand.
For those familiar with the Simon Sinek concept of “Why,” you realize that your why is even more important now. When your “what” is dependent on people using your product together, and when your “how” depends on people showing up at your door to purchase, you are very familiar with the challenges you are facing during the Covid pandemic. It is in your “why” where you can find a way to pivot on the fly.
Example One: Playground Equipment
Imagine that you are in the business of building playground equipment. People may be more reluctant to go to playgrounds right now with the fear of germs. Likewise, those that would normally purchase your equipment would not find the value to buy your product. If we look at your “why,” it is likely that your brand is built around play and/or safety. This is a compass you can use to help you find other products and services that fit your expertise. Perhaps you could find cost effect ways for people to help get kids outside and play. Possibly you could provide resources that allow kids to interact with their friends.
Example Two: Brew Pub
For a long time, brew pubs — which do not offer retail sales — depended heavily on people coming to the pub. But, if social distancing practices don’t allow for enough people to come to the pub to make a profit, you have to find other revenue sources. If your “why” is based on bringing people together over beer, how can you use online resources to further your cause? Hosting the world’s best online happy hour or trivia with beer!
Example Three: Retail
Retail is always challenging. If you didn’t have an online store before covid, you surely know the importance of that now. But, having an online presence is just another avenue to distribute your “what.” Think about other revenue streams you could create based on your values.
One retail business we have worked with wanted their brand to be about creating calm in a crazy world. This business could look into online yoga, feng shui or art lessons. Delivery of goods that bring a sense of calm. Or perhaps, create a zen garden near the retail space where people can come to for relaxation.
Where To Begin
Take a look at your brand and really think about why you started your business in the first place. What is it about your brand beyond your product or services that can still help you achieve your “why?”
Then, think about other ways you can expose your customers to your brand that still fit within the purpose of your business. They don’t always have to be direct revenue generating. Just ways to bring people closer to your purpose.
Finally, execute those ideas by trying to create a community of people who understand your brand value. Keep working at it and keep focused on your brand. It is the only thing that can save your business now.