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Brand Building in the Post- Covid Digital Age

Brand Building in the Post- Covid Digital Age

In my 30 years Post Covid Digital Age of work experience, leading or working with the teams in developing and implementing campaigns for ‘Brand Building’ for multinational or local brands, I observed that there is no change in the fundamentals of brand building! An opportunity to build brands to cover all continents and some brand that are regional or local in nature came to know about this by visiting different continents and countries (which include a trip to Mumbai & Goa in India for a Bajaj International Conference in 2016), brand building is an intentional and compulsory part for developing a lucrative market in product and services to grow and thrive, at the same time satisfying consumer needs.

In a developing nation like Nigeria, many global level multinational companies have a road into the bustling 200 million population market. 75 percentage of population comprises youth, which is below 35, Nigeria is not called ‘the Giant of Africa’ for fun!!

With the ‘global reset’ of all forms of business operations and lifestyles, (due to the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic in March 2020) the need to ‘embrace’ digital technology has become paramount for business survival and continuity in general, across the globe.

Hence, brand building in the post- Covid 19 era requires a mix of tried and tested true ideologies from the past and new approaches needed in today's environment.

Research has shown some of the following fundamentals for branding in the digital age:

Do things Differently

Do things differently and set apart from your competition. Customers need a clear understanding of what makes your brand of business/service unique.

Be culturally relevant & sensitive:

Across Africa, Asia & the Middle-East, to implement brand building stronger must create awareness about your brand among the people and respect them in order to gain customer acceptance and kinship.

Be True to your brand values:

Make sure your brand promises something you can live up to. Customers looking for brands, that need to reflect how much they care and have empathy for their customers. What you promise for a brand as an example, in the United States, India or Nigeria must be carried along to all regions of the world as the world is now even more seamless as a ‘global village’, which the pandemic has proven.

Show Empathy

The challenges of the managing the pandemic would differ from country to country make it clear that brands must empathize with the customer to remain relevant post-pandemic. Hence, lot of brands donated generously in cash and kind to fight the scourge, whilst some brand converted their production lines to making timely and relevant products for the consumers. Like mass production of facemasks, hospital PPEs (personal protective equipment), industrial and domestic hand sanitizers etc.

Connect emotionally & with a cause:

What you make people feel, is just as important as what you make.” Can our customers relate to the brand message? For example, In Africa ‘it takes a village to raise a child’ will resonate well in our communities if you are selling baby products and you use visuals reflecting group of people, than just a singleton parent!! Now it is also important to note your ethics deployed in sourcing materials for production (e.g., no child labor or slavery involved, empowering women in villages, could be a ‘Cause’ to connect and keep customers on patronizing our products and services in the baby products range).

Be consistent

Be consistent in every touch point and communication. People should experience the feeling whether they are in one-to-one networking meetings in your locality, searching your website, or engaging on your social media sites.

First think digital (and mobile first)

Whether blogs, social media, news sites, websites or e-mail. Purchasing behavior has changed dramatically; with online research becoming a significant part of the buying cycle for both B2C and B2B—traditional approaches now support digital.

Personalize the experience

In this era of marketing, people want to feel that their interactions and experiences are personalized and directly relevant to them.

Branding is no longer a push strategy

We must include a ‘Pull Strategy’ in our communication. Consumers want value not volume, so marketing approach must be customer-centric mindset.

Have a conversation with your customers and respond

Branding is now a two-way conversation, so listen to your audience, deliver timely responses to their comments, and incorporate their feedback and genuinely appreciate their feedback.

Keep consumers/customers coming back

By creating both a remarkable product/service and remarkable marketing that will lead to passionate brand advocates or brand ambassadors that do the selling for you!!

A strong brand is still vital for post Covid-19 growth

All companies need a strong brand building approach, which should be a relevant process for an organization to incorporate in every facet of their business. It would help to differentiate and communicate the value proposition to the appropriate target customers. With so many options are there for customers today, brand building must be approached differently than it was in the past and having a strong digital footprint in the post-Covid 19 era is a must!!

OTHER TIPS!

  • Understand Your Market (is it local, national, regional, international, global)?
  • Emphasize one significant trait that makes your business memorable.
  • Identify your core values and work towards them.
  • Focus on creating content that adds value
  • Strike the right balance between Content and Visuals, when developing print communication.
  • Materials or blogs.
  • Establish relationships with customers to build credibility
  • Make use of social media tools to engage your audience
  • Create a long-lasting Impression with a Unique Logo

About the Author

Bunmi Oke is the CEO/ Lead Consultant of Ladybird Limited, (a budding ad-agency with a cause in Lagos, Nigeria) & is an award winning & multifaceted ad professional with a distinguished career over 30years.Bunmi recently, led a leading global network agency from inception to fame, as head of the Lagos office for 12 years & is a Past President of the Advertising Agencies Association in Nigeria, amongst other career milestones.