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Relaunching your business post COVID-19

By Ben Walker on 16 June 2020

It has been incredible to see countless businesses adapting during the COVID-19 pandemic, finding new and innovative ways to provide their products and services.

However, it’s no secret that the last few months have placed considerable strain on many businesses, from large global brands, to established SMEs and even start-ups. Although some have been left with no choice but to close, others have been able to adjust their structures and processes to suit the ever-evolving circumstances and customer demand.

Although it may feel daunting amidst the current uncertainty, creating a strategy to relaunch your business post COVID-19 is essential. None of us can predict how the situation will develop, but being proactive and establishing a flexible plan will help to ensure you are in a stronger position later down the line. In this article, we highlight a variety of key points to consider when navigating your relaunch.

Embrace change

Even as we slowly transition back into normality (whatever that means!), for many, priorities have shifted. Take the increase in online shopping for instance – almost half of consumers globally have stated that they won’t return to shops for some time or a long time after lockdown. Not only has making purchases online provided a safer option, it is also convenient and has presented an alternative many hadn’t previously considered. With this in mind, it is important to adapt and assess new possibilities to ensure your business remains competitive.

Although certain industries have undoubtedly been hit harder than others, many businesses have been presented with an opportunity to reflect upon their brands and think outside the box, channelling their creativity. This is something we have seen during lockdown in the UK, with the likes of galleries and museums offering virtual tours, fitness studios moving their class schedules to Zoom and even the National Theatre releasing live performances on YouTube.

From contactless deliveries and collections, to DIY meal kits and live cookalongs, numerous restaurants and cafes have found clever ways to successfully alter their service offerings. Take Edinburgh’s SIX by Nico for example, who have transported their six course tasting experience menus to our kitchens. With each creative course prepared in advance, all that’s left to do is follow the simple cooking instructions and serve. Alby’s in Leith on the other hand were delivering the deconstructed components of their mouth-watering sandwiches, which customers could assemble at home via Instagram live ‘cookalong parties’.

Build trust

As lockdown eases, many people are unsurprisingly feeling apprehensive. This is not the time for a hard sell, but to prioritise transparency, authenticity and effective communication. With 55% of British consumers of the opinion that brands are taking advantage of the current crisis, building trust and customer loyalty is paramount.

If you have the resources to do so, be generous with your content. Depending on your organisation, this could take the form of top tips style blog posts, free video consultations, or even informative webinars sharing your skills and expertise. Although this will require an investment of time and resources in the short term, it is a great way to drive engagement and connect with your target audience.

Get planning

Planning to relaunch your business during this period of dramatic change could be a great opportunity to hone and possibly reshape your branding and marketing strategy. Brands are taking note of this, with 47% adapting their content and advertising to ensure it is relevant to the current situation.

A great place to start is by taking the time to research. Go back to basics and define your target audience, analyse your competitors and outline your core message, values and unique selling points (USPs). What’s more, speak to your customers and your team, finding out their needs, wants, concerns and ideas.

Once you have built these foundations, examine the current economic landscape, outlining any gaps in your sector and changes in consumer behaviour. This will help you to create a list of core objectives and begin to form a strategy. Don’t forget to consider how you might adapt future plans for worst case scenarios to prepare for every eventuality.

Tell people you’re open for business

This is where your marketing strategy comes in. If you are relaunching your business after a period of closure, make sure everyone knows about it. Whether this takes the form of a social media campaign, email marketingonline advertising, or all three, this is the time to really harness your online presence. Depending on your business, you could also utilise eye catching outdoor advertising or direct mail to capture your audience’s attention.

Whatever route your marketing strategy takes, be sure to prioritise transparency regarding any changes to your service offering. In addition to building up a relationship with your customers, this could add value to your business and appeal to a wider audience.

A close-up of a shop front door, with an open sign.

We hope this article has given you new ideas and motivation to kickstart your relaunch strategy. Although challenges lie ahead, this is an exciting time for change and growth, and a chance to see what your business is truly capable of.

If you would like help with managing your social media platforms, adapting to the increased demand for digital marketing, or communicating any changes you have made to your services, please contact us today. We would love to hear from you.

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