Branding strategies, ideas and innovations are ever evolving and a must for brands to keep them afloat. While big brands have funds to improvise and work on their branding techniques, small businesses struggle with brand management and brand recall.
Recently, with the mandatory mask rule, many big companies have come up with their branded face masks with focus on comfort. They are now one of the hottest gimmicks out there. Wearing expensive face masks have become a status symbol for many.
However, branding is not just how well you place your ads or logo; it is what your customers feel about you. This means small businesses and local companies have a new opportunity to let their customers know what they stand for. Considering the amount of time we all need to wear masks, having your own brand name on the face covers is a very good marketing and branding technique. It doesn’t take much to create your own masks and get your ad on it. Think about the school going children and those who work in schools and stores. They need to wear masks for longer periods of time. Having your company logo and tagline on such masks will give them more visibility and brand recall too.
For companies dealing in sustainable products, this is a great opportunity as pandemic has created new kind of trash, affecting our planet. Designing masks with sustainable and green material will not only give them more brand value but also help the planet in the long run. Also, your customers will get to know what your company really stands for. There are many people who believe in cruelty-free, natural, green products and they would definitely go for such sustainable, green products.
Not just face covers, sustainable companies can also manufacture or sell environmental friendly sanitizers and soaps, disinfectant wipes and cleaners. With the shortage of wipes in the market, producing environmental friendly options will definitely sell like hot cakes.
Likewise, a children’s brand could manufacture kids masks in a variety of colours, some with cartoon characters and some with other fun shape drawings. Some kids’ store are already doing it. There can be theme based ‘back to school kits’ consisting of masks, lanyards, mask case, sanitizers and hand wipes. It is a perfect time to grab the opportunity and have kids’ school items get your brand name.
Restaurants and some stores are now using new terms like ‘contactless delivery’ and ‘curbside pickup’. While curbside pick up was previously available at some stores, it has become the new normal for any kind and type of store. Branding and advertising in this new normal requires adapting to the new demands of target audience. It is good to see how everyone is leaning towards this new terminology of contactless delivery and curbside pickup.
The way we are spending time and money on covid-19 preventive items, it looks like this is going to become part of gift baskets this Thanksgiving and Christmas. And why not? Aren’t these items useful given the current situation? So why not gift your clients and customers something they would use and appreciate. Along with the gifts of your choice, adding basic hygiene products and preventive gear in a gift basket is going to be one very powerful branding technique this year.
Imagine someone using a sanitizer bottle, custom designed to include your company name and logo! Or someone wearing a mask or a PPE shield that displays your brand name. Wouldn’t that give you more visibility at a relatively lower cost?
Having banners, posters and billboards (where permitted) with hygiene tips along with your company name and logo will also help in brand recall. These banners are especially important in places like hospitals, outside stores, pharmacies, etc.
A book publisher can have an entire story on Covid-19 and sell it along with a free mask. Would’t that be a good gift for a kid? Did you see how many companies manufacturing herbal medicines have taken the covid route to promote themselves as immunity booster – prevention against coronavirus. Some are even selling free sanitizers (not so free) with the medicines. Hand soaps have suddenly become anti-bacterial and wipes have suddenly started to display the percentage of alcohol in them. All these are new branding techniques. And there is nothing wrong in it. If your target audience can be captured this way, it is going to benefit the company.
Opportunists are those who take advantage of any situation – good or bad! If you think many businesses closed or are closing due to the pandemic, also see how many people took advantage of this situation and got into other businesses or improvised to include products or services related to pandemic. Branding can adapt to the new situation, it should be relatable for the target audience. That is what matters!
Pic by Flavio Gasperini – Unsplash.
Written by Manali Arora