It was during Lockdown that I smiled from behind my mask at the delivery man who’s eyes were grinning back at me, it struck me: this man was his company’s new receptionist. No enormous glossy entrance hall with shining desk, uniforms, perfect nails and on-target signage … HE had brought his employer to my door and he had done it with the sincere connection which I now associate with the brand.
There’s no underestimating the monumental, involuntary shifts that we continue to experience. Branding has never been more important – both internal and external branding are requiring careful attention and strategic thinking.
Not unexpectedly, a social shift has increased our need for connection and affinity. This has spilled beyond family and friends, beyond community to brands and corporations. In South Africa, we recently saw how momentary disconnection from your consumer base can move a brand from renowned to notorious.
Until now, the purchasers of our products and services may have become automatons in our marketing minds: our psychographics and demographics and trend predictors lulled many a strong brand into complacency. Zach Bush talks about our new currency being one of fearlessness and joy. What would that mean for brands? Has there ever been a more perfect time to inject new and hope-filled life into them? Or a sense of fearlessness and hope. A new product won’t do it – but a customer experience that is memorable, predictable, emotional and dependable, certainly will.
“Consumers have moved beyond choosing your brand from off the shelf, actively inviting you into their homes. What an honour! And like any good guests, our products and services need to contribute meaningfully and sincerely if they want to become part of the family.”
E-commerce – which has accelerated in its growth, with even the over 60s taking to their laptops to shop – means that consumers have moved beyond choosing your brand from off the shelf, actively inviting you into their homes. What an honour! And like any good guests, our products and services need to contribute meaningfully and sincerely if they want to become part of the family.
It’s a big ask in many cases, wanting the CEO and their management teams to reach for the warm and fuzzie in a sincere way: ingrained behaviours are never easy to shift and fearlessness and hope, are the epitome of warm and fuzzie in the world of the C-Suite. There’s no escaping it, though. Unpredictability and a sense of instability has employees and consumers needing clear and powerful action (and messaging) from leaders who’ve embraced change. Leaders who value profit but value the customer experience more.
The work starts in the hearts and minds of the top of the pyramid. It’s possibly an uncomfortable space. Business leaders are recognizing that they need help navigating these uncharted waters with an evolved and high EQ executive team and often, a Business Coach. Coaching isn’t about uninformed cheering from the sidelines. It’s not about paying someone to do your strategy for you. A great business coach is a sounding board; a trained facilitator who coaxes the innovator and leader that you already are, through unfamiliar waters, new thinking patterns and transformation that will spill over and ready your business offerings for this new marketing world.
I’ve been where you are. I’ve survived, dived, and thrived as a CEO and entrepreneur. Contact me for a commitment-free conversation to partner fearlessness with authenticity and grow your business and brand.