MIDST OF A CRISIS

Perfect moment to rebrand business

Before embarking on this journey, listen to your clients’ feedback.

In Summary
  • The Covid-19 crisis has left industries and businesses in a position where a rebrand is necessary.
  • Businesses must reorganise if they are to remain relevant.
Cranes at the Kenya Ports Authority berths.
Cranes at the Kenya Ports Authority berths.

During this Covid -19 crisis, it may be hard for businesses to know where to begin or adopt to the ever-changing situation. In just a short time, people have moved into fortification model, focusing on themselves, their families, their employees, their customers, and their communities.

Social media reflects this, with pleas for fellow citizens to follow government safety guidelines. People have crossed partisan lines to build bridges within their neighbourhoods and communities and unify against an invisible force. Social distancing is keeping many people at home.

Clients have returned to broadcast and cable television and other premium media sources for credible information. They are also seeking more in the way of escapism and entertainment, downloading gaming apps, spending even more time on social media, and streaming more movies and scripted programming.

Meanwhile, the need for physical goods is placing pressure on new channels, with demand for e-commerce rising to new levels. Health and safety concerns are driving more people toward electronic payment systems, such as M-Pesa. Some of these behaviour changes may be temporary, but many may be more permanent.

As people move beyond the current mode of survival, the momentum behind digital-experience adoption is unlikely to reverse as people are forced by circumstances to try new things. With so much changing so fast during this difficult time, what actions can brands take to serve and grow their customer base, mitigate risk, and take care of their people?

The Covid-19 crisis has left industries and businesses in a position where a rebrand is necessary. Businesses must reorganise if they are to remain relevant. However, rebranding can be risky, customers may not like it and you may the lose brand recognition you worked hard to build.

However, a brand change also invites a public image reassessment and, therefore, a public perception change. It is important to note this crisis is not a “marketing opportunity” to capitalise on. But brands must recognise that this is a new reality that requires thoughtful navigation in order to survive.

Involving your clients by asking for their feedback can ensure that your rebranding efforts are aligned with changes in your customers' expectations and experiences. After all, a brand is first and foremost a reflection of the relationship between customers and the company. 

A brand is everything to a business as it mirrors the experience your clients expect to have with your business. A virtuous brand effectively communicates what your business does and how it does it while establishing trust and credibility. However, a brand must be flexible since even the most successful brands change over time, especially in times of crisis.

Consequently, rebranding is about changing the corporate image of an organisation. This could be through adopting a new purpose, name, symbol or design. The intention of rebranding is to forge a new identity for an already established brand.

There are two kinds of rebranding: Proactive and reactive. Proactive rebranding is employed when a business identifies an opportunity to grow or to tap into a new market. Reactive rebranding is in response to a changing situation, whereby the business is forced to rebrand to survive.

Rebranding can be dicey, clients may not like it and you may the lose brand recognition. It is therefore important that before embarking on this journey you listen to your clients’ feedback. A brand change invites a public image reassessment and a public perception change. The pandemic, this, presents a chance for businesses to redefine their purpose.

By examining how your businesses can be of use in the current climate, you may find new avenues of opportunity. Therefore, a reactive or proactive rebrand can help in how your business finds solid ground in unfamiliar territory.

Involving your clients by asking for their feedback can ensure that your rebranding efforts are aligned with changes in your customers' expectations and experiences. After all, a brand is first and foremost a reflection of the relationship between customers and the company. 

This is not about copying what others are doing but understanding the exceptional role your brand plays in people’s lives, how that has changed with the current crisis, and how your brand can help or be useful during this crisis. It’s also about looking for opportunities to lead by example and do the right thing, where it makes sense for your business.

Looking at the airline sector, for example, with little or no human travel, most airlines across the globe have had to rethink how to grow the cargo business by converting passenger aircraft into cargo aircraft. As people are asked to self-isolate and stay at home, there will be a number of behaviour changes that might impact their needs as well as how they interact with your business.

Communication specialist and certified PR analyst