A more positive side of COVID has been the uptick in the ‘care’ factor. People have been spending more time in their local neighbourhoods caring about local businesses, neighbours, and community in general.
There has been a shift to buying local as the impact of COVID. This can be seen in the closure of favourite boutiques or restaurants. There have even been several campaigns, such as for ‘the love of your local’ supporting local pubs and Shop Small by American Express who have promoted the small or local business movement. COVID has given us a deeper sense of community, which is likely to have an ongoing impact as community strengthens and businesses bounce back.
Now, more than ever, people will buy from brands they trust, brands who’ve done the right thing and who haven’t taken advantage in a difficult time.
While customers make choices based on price and features, there is a growing trend where more people are choosing a product/service over another based on values. In marketing terms this is your brand positioning.
Your brand positioning helps you articulate:
It’s the image that you want customers or potential customers to have about your product or service. What’s key is that once you have your positioning identified then you need to deliver.
Businesses that are perceived as doing the right thing, or who are continuously building trust with customers during both the good and bad times will gain loyalty. Businesses who are perceived as wanting to make a quick buck will lose out in the long-run.
Yes, knowing your positioning and sticking to it is a long-term play, which may not seem important right now. But, think about whether you want a one night stand or a relationship with your customers. Certainly for service businesses, quality customers who keep coming back are gold.
So, remember to align your marketing messages to the customer experience, the product features or the service provided, and do what you say you’ll do.