I recently listened to a podcast about unintended consequences, and it got me thinking about how often these unforeseen outcomes of purposeful actions occur in the business world. It’s not hard to think of a business-related example of a time when a decision was made to create a positive change but led to adverse, unexpected results.
Case in point: nearly a decade ago, whisky maker Johnnie Walker dropped the price of its Black Label brand in Japan to boost sales. But Japanese consumers viewed the price reduction as a reflection of quality issues; consequently, the brand fell out of favour with whisky drinkers. Japan often sorts liquors by price, so when Johnnie Walker’s price decreased, so did its ranking. The whisky maker quickly reversed course, but not before the damage was done.
When looking at the pandemic, certain policies and mandates have had significant societal changes affecting customer habits. This has led to several unintended consequences, including driving millions of people online for work and consumer purchasing, creating what’s being termed the crib economy.
In light of these changes, here are five ways your company can adjust your marketing strategy:
1. Enhance your customer experience.
Understanding and anticipating your client’s needs has never been more important. Because they are spending more time online, their expectations have never been greater. Messaging needs to cater to their current situation and priorities, including whether they are focused on affordability, health, sustainability, or other concerns.
2. Be adaptable and agile.
Brands needed to show their relevance during the pandemic, and their messaging changed with it. Creating a community became even more relevant, and showing how your brand was creating change during these times was also important for survival.
3. Give customers an option to attend events in-person or virtually.
Don’t assume that your clients are embracing the same approach just because your team is back in the office. Seminars, workshops and events should have both a virtual and in-person component where possible. Gym owners have seen the benefit of offering both in-person training and online courses and fitness programs.
4. Understand that brand loyalty is fading.
Customers are more willing to try new things. They also are doing more research on their own. Make sure you’re being found. This is also an excellent time to focus on client retention, as keeping customers is less expensive than landing new ones.
5. Leverage your network.
Get to know your customers again. It can take the form of a large gathering or a quick lunch. Let them decide what they’re comfortable with. Find out how their needs have changed and how their focus has shifted.
Understanding and embracing these changes is essential as your company looks to create growth in a post-pandemic economy. As new priorities emerge, you must focus squarely on your customers and ensure they have all the tools necessary to stay engaged with your brand.