Getting Back to a New Normal

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COVID-19 came and hasn’t yet left. As a society, we initially dealt with the shock, we learned to adapt and we continue to power through. Now consumers and the brands they use need to dive into the recovery process. COVID-19 has made us more resourceful and resilient and we expect to come back stronger.

Traditionally, in a recession, companies that have lean operations, relevant value proposition, and a loyal client base will survive. It’s also been said that brands that invest during a downturn capture three times more market share. Going dark in a recession, downturn, or crisis can cause more suffering. The more marketing cut, the longer it will take to recover.

The companies that were able to pivot to manufacturing, digital, delivery, and donations are the companies that will be first to thrive.

It’s not what you say, it’s how you make people feel. Everyone wants to feel good about the future. You need to show your clients that they can be confident that you will make it. Your customers want to be on the healthy, winning team. People vote with their dollars and they want to be aligned with the brands that are giving back.

Consumers coming out of this will have more self confidence and trust in their abilities and decisions. They will be less dependent on company sales pitches and more aware of what is really needed to live and be healthy and happy. They will value your “experience” and know how as well as the quality of their experience in your facility, using your equipment.

Companies need to evaluate what they know, what they learned, and how they changed, culturally.

  • People were forced to try new things (i.e. virtual consultations) and also started to seek out the familiar (at-home self care).
  • They quickly adapted to all things virtual and learned how to use Zoom despite early discomfort for many that has left us craving real time, in-person interaction even more.
  • Some have learned to be quite happy at home, however it hasn’t stopped the itch to get back out.
  • Health consciousness and immune boosting is on the rise; so is comforting eating, skipping grooming, etc.
  • People put more personal pressure on themselves while peer pressure continues to rise with more time to surf and post on social.

We have all realized new needs. Based on these contradictions and behavior patterns we can expect customers to want more connection, more truth, more meaning, more bonds, and more simplicity.

What they will want is support, quality, inspiration, and versatility. They will have the following questions about every purchase:

  • Do I need it?
  • Will it work for me?
  • Can I get it?
  • What are my other options?

As a brand you need to answer these questions before the consumer even asks.

Many businesses have discovered during this pandemic that they need to stay connected to their regular customers while they are forced apart. Your personal touch has never been more important. You have to find a way to do this. You should also be quickly building loyalty with an irregular customer looking for a temporary fix. Ultimately, what many in business learned was that the core of the business must be expanded to whatever consumers need in the moment, which changes from week to week.

Recovery will look much the same. Each week will bring new findings and cause new habits to develop and we must continue to adapt, persevere, and market to existing and new audiences.

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Nancy Trent
Nancy Trent is a writer and speaker, a lifelong health advocate, a globe-trotting trend watcher and the founder and president of Trent & Company, a New York-based marketing communications firm with an office in Los Angeles. Trent & Company, which launched many fitness brands, grew out of Nancy’s personal commitment to helping people live longer and healthier lives. A former journalist for New York magazine, Nancy has written seven books on healthy lifestyles, serves on the editorial boards of several magazines and travels around the world speaking at conferences and trade shows on trends in the marketplace. She is a recognized expert in PR with more than 30 years of experience creating and managing highly successful campaigns. Nancy can be reached at (212) 966-0024 or through e-mail at nancy@trentandcompany.com. You may also visit www.trentandcompany.com.

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