Changing the brand to pivot your offering can be needed in difficult times.The question of all questions should be asked and considered first. If you wonder what pivoting actually is do not worry. We got you. Here is a definition by Founders Institute:
Pivoting in the startup world means adopting a new strategy. Usually, people think it means changing the whole business structure but this is not true. Sometimes businesses have only one problem that needs to be solved so they only change one aspect of their company. These are some changes companies undertake but many do not know it is considered as a “pivot”:
- Turning a feature of a product into an own product or another way round
- Changing markets or new positioning such as moving from B2B to B2C
- Changing a platform, for example from app to software
- Introducing a new revenue model to increase monetisation. If you wonder what that is here is an example: A company might find an ad-based revenue model more profitable than a freemium
- Using different technology to create a product or service. This can be the case to cut down costs or be more reliable.
You cannot pivot all the time. It is actually taking a lot of resources and the most important one: time! Pivoting is the last option to choose when it comes to businesses. During the global pandemic pivoting has become increasingly popular. Brands have changed their offerings in order to keep up with the changing environment.
Some other reasons to pivot:
- Your company is progressing too slowly even though you put a lot of work into it. That is when you can actually consider pivoting. Maybe the company itself does not need to pivot. However, you may need to pivot the business or revenue model, product or market.
- To be fair your product or service might sound unique but think about the bigger competition. There is a high chance that bigger companies take inspiration from yours and offer the same product or service to their built-in audience. Then you will definitely be better off doing something completely different.
- When you notice slow progress in your company’s development this could mean it hit a plateau. This could be caused due to an unmotivated team or an inefficient strategy.
- Only one thing of your company is successful. The rest of your offerings are progressing slowly or are failing. Pivoting your whole offering will be the only solution. Why not get rid of the offerings that do not do well? Concentrate on one product or service and boost productivity, efficiency and revenue.
- There is not enough response from your marketplace. Just because you launch a product or service does not mean people will buy it immediately.
- Your brand identity is changing. You launched your company but you notice your vision, mission, goals and values do not actually align with your wishes. Then you will need to pivot your brand because your perspective has changed.
No matter what type of business you are in, it is always a good idea to plan your marketing strategy ahead. However, when circumstances change these have to change as well. COVID-19 has shown us that businesses need to be flexible. Marketing strategies that have worked before, do not work anymore. This means you need to pivot your messaging to align it with these difficult times. The health crisis makes businesses not only rethink their strategy but also their brand DNA.
Entrepreneurs are obligated to fulfil the needs and emotions of the audience. This is not in a way they used to. It has changed. Businesses need to be more sensitive in order to be relevant to customers. These examples are related to the pandemic, however, they will be important for the future as well. The world is changing exactly like consumer behaviours.
1 – Create digital offerings
Service-based businesses or businesses that work off of retainers from clients can create a new service that aligns with the feelings of clients. It is also a great way to differentiate the business from competitors. While other businesses might continue with traditional marketing efforts your business is being the unique one in the market. Analysing the mental state of clients or customers will be the key to personalise offers. One-on.one strategy calls and new ways for clients to handle the situation with the brands will provide more clarity. This can build a more reliable brand.
2 – Increase content and create more on digital media platforms
People are more and more into social media these days. The usage has spiked during the pandemic. The creation of content is a huge opportunity for businesses to show off their work.
3 – Create digital experiences that trigger emotions like in-person ones
Most business events were cancelled due to the current pandemic. However, this new format can be the future and not just remain in the COVID-19 era. The first step of pivoting would be rescheduling these events. However, it is important to keep the in-person ideas alive, if it is safe enough to have them. Digital events could be the future as they were an escape for most businesses during the pandemic. It should be the aim to keep the in-person emotions fresh even if it’s just an online event. Platforms such as hopin or bluejeans create the vibes of in-person events. Those could be the future of events and how technology can save the industry.
4 – Build new relationships
In times of crises, it is important to maintain and build new relationships. New relationships can be transformed into new business opportunities. A simple “How can we help you?” is mostly enough to engage with new people. A one-on-one zoom call or direct messages are very helpful ways.
Sometimes changing your offerings is not enough. You need to change the brand to pivot your offering. Businesses should review their objectives and goals they are following with their brand. The brand voice has to be changed if necessary and an agile marketing strategy needs to be considered. It is important to be flexible during difficult times. It is nearly impossible to develop a roadmap that fits all. Every brand and customer is different. You cannot foresee what is coming next.
Here are some tips by Mailchimp:
- Stay sensitive to the needs and wishes of your consumer
- Review, adjust or stop marketing strategies that do not fit the needs of your consumer for now
- Focus on visibility such as PR (Public Relations)
- Have a strong mindset about brand responsibility
- Avoid unnecessary communication that is not relevant to your target group
- Stay attentive to difficult times such as the current pandemic. Be prepared to pivot in real-time if needed
Changing the brand to pivot your offering can be necessary especially in times of crises such as COVID-19. It is important to understand your target group to know their needs and wants.
Liked this article? Why not read “Improving brand discovery and brand recognition”
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