One great result from the last few years, is the time and inclination that it has given us to reflect upon and look at things from a different angle (and we don’t just mean from our kitchen table via a zoom link!). Not only as individuals, but also as a collective agency. For many businesses, it was the ideal/essential time to realign goals, plans and ways of working, but mostly to be reactive, responsive and creative in order to keep their business afloat, and possibly even to thrive.
For us, the important next step is to embed these new processes and ways of thinking so that we can not only adapt to the ‘new-normal’ but grow stronger and have a greater impact in an increasingly competitive space.
We’ve pulled together a list of the things that we believe businesses should be focusing on now to really drive their brand and business forward:
1. Revitalise and clarify your brand message
We at Design One have taken the opportunity to finally revamp our website in the last few weeks and in doing so, to remind existing and new clients (along with ourselves) what we are really all about. It’s all too easy (guilty as charged) to spend all of your time working on client’s brands, future projects, quick-wins or just the daily grind of what needs to be done, but you can’t underestimate the power of taking the time to step back and review your core values, principles and what drives you as a business. Remind yourself and your customers why you exist, where you excel, why they should work/interact/ spend their money with you and make sure you integrate this into every piece of content that you push out.
2. Get your creative juices flowing
You can’t get more creative than an artist right? Well, one of our ‘lockdown’ clients Jill Jeffrey, is just that; an award-winning contemporary landscape artist with paintings that are held in private collections all over the World. Faced with the reality of gallery closures, we worked with Jill to create a website on which to promote and sell her paintings. A simple and obvious solution you might say, but more difficult than it sounds for many businesses who are set in their ways and don’t have the knowledge or expertise to do things differently. It’s the ideal time to try new things, new routes to market, and new ways to reach and engage your customers! It could be as simple as introducing a relevant (that’s an important point) new social media channel, launching a series of webinars or podcasts, or simply tapping into the changes in the market with your design, copy or pricing strategy.
Just make sure you pay attention to the results and tweak/ re-route accordingly along the way.
(Oh and if you need help with any of this, you know who to call… (that’s us in case you hadn’t realised…)
3. Think 360
More than ever, your brand needs to be represented consistently across all touchpoints. A digital-first approach is essential, but your wider marketing comms should live and breathe your messaging too. The point is that the customer experience should be seamless and fully integrated. That’s why we like to work with our clients on all aspects of their marketing activity, from developing their strategy right through to their website and promotional materials. Consistency is our thing, and making sure we keep the style and tone of voice whilst changing the message to fit the communication is a skill we’ve been honing over the years.
Saying that, we do love it when we get to work with other specialist agencies on projects, because, let’s be honest it’s always good to watch and learn from how others do it too.
4. Rethink customer journeys and the integration of digital solutions
The landscape for PPC and Social is already different to what is was 6 months ago and online competition has increased as more brick-and-mortar businesses have moved online. According to Unbounce, 77% of marketers see landing pages as an essential part of their post-click strategy, AND they are doing a whole lot more with them too. Lead-gen activities are the top of the list, such as downloading an e-book, but many are also using them to schedule appointments and phone calls and of course to drive newsletter subscriptions. These days, a conversion can look very different depending on your business, your customers and your goals. The journey should be relevant, compelling and always simple for your customer.
5. Online networking and remote selling is more important than ever
The growth in webinars and digital conferences has meant networking doesn’t need to come to a halt, but there are now loads of new and creative ways to do it! Embrace these opportunities, whether it be podcasts, webinars, or using TikTok, there are numerous engaging and easy ways to reach your audience.
Video calls are now more common than face to face meetings where previously most of us would have opted for the opposite. Many have embraced remote working and shown that it can in fact be incredibly productive, effective and obviously have huge cost-saving benefits. If you see this as a long-term solution for your business, the key is to ensure you have all of the right systems in place for it to continue to work, rather than it being seen as a temporary necessity. Do you need daily motivation check-ins for staff?, or if you’re using video calls for networking how can you bring to life your personality and brand in the same way as you would in person? Could you send follow-up content, could the invitation to the call be more creative, funny, interesting? What would showcase your brand to the best it can be? Make the most of these opportunities and embrace the creativity that you’ve adopted from point 2 above!
Ok, so we may be a little biased because creativity is one of our founding principles and at the heart of what we do! But our point is that it applies to everything, not just great design. And we truly believe that if you get creative with your thinking across all aspects of your business, then it can be a real game-changer for the here-and-now, but most importantly for the future. We’ve even set a weekly timer for a ‘creative hour’ in the office (or over zoom) to refresh, refocus and ensure that our creative muscles in the brain are never getting lax! If you do ever need to borrow one of our creative brains to help you get to the bottom of a business problem or simply to run something by us, feel free to give us a call, send us a video link, or pop in for a socially distanced coffee in the barn. Whatever you prefer!
P.S. In the meantime please let us know what you think of our brand-spanking new website!