When a crisis hits, one needs to have their wits about them. This pandemic has been a crisis of massive proportion and has created drama that has felt like an episode of Survivor
In the series, there's upheaval, lots of personalities, alliances, grudges, histories, and, of course, each individual and group with their own agenda to satisfy. It is not dissimilar to reality, and while that's a game that requires strategy and a leadership mindset, right now that's what is needed for business and brands too.
The 'black swan' event has highlighted many businesses and brands that really don't know how to lead themselves, their people and consumers through the quagmire.
Mark Ritson, a former marketing professor with a PhD in marketing, says that businesses are in freeze, flex or fix mode. Roughly translated, freeze means that they are unable to do anything, flex means some
brands are performing and fix entails trying to find new ways to manage revenue and profits.
Granted, the circumstances of every business involve multiple
variables, but freezing and flexing are short term decisions, and fixing feels like more of a strategic, long-term, sustainable solution; this is especially the case if you want to win, right?
The past few weeks, and the present circumstances, have presented the perfect time to 'fix' and has given brands an opportunity to really examine strategy. After the intense period of non-activity, there must be new ways to manage revenue and create profits.
A small example is how online retail has stepped forward in two months at a rate that probably would have taken five years. Suddenly, people you know who've never transacted online are now keeping online shopping revenues at an all-time high.
Are enough brands sitting up and taking notice of how to take advantage of this megatrend?
One of the areas where brands and businesses can really
win is through the building of good sentiment. There's room to do great things for staff, as well as current and potential customers. Surely, that would go down ten times better than the types of messaging we have been seeing during the pandemic.
What a time to take a leadership position with a brand; lead
through this crisis and fix! It would be awesome to see more brands putting the likes of Simon Sinek, Malcolm Gladwell, Siya Kolisi, Pearl Thusi and others in front of staff and customers.
They could then use social and mass media to tell staff, clients and potential clients, 'Hey, we cared enough to bring you people to inspire and enlighten you'. In this way, it's not about the webinar, it's about really connecting with people's needs and fears right now.
What about fixing the SMME landscape that's been battered and helping rebuild through strategic enterprise development thinking and funding? Think of the positive impact that's going to have after the economic slump turns.
There's a great argument too for more omni-channel environments to ramp up revenue and for collaborative partners who can enable that, and there's an abundance of those opportunities around.
A lot of fixing of many parts of our society are going to be needed; agreed. While a number of brands are afraid and frozen, those who fix and invest properly will have the highest propensity to lead their brands, the market, their people and their revenue out of this recession successfully.
We aren't on an island, we don't have immunity and if we are going to lead brands through and out of this crisis, let's do it '#together'.
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