Every state is allowing businesses to slowly reopen its doors and adjust their services according to current safety precautions. We have curated three essential phases for your brand to keep in mind as you prepare to re-open.
Phase 1: The Importance of Physical barriers and Visual Marketing
There are many aspects to consider when your store or restaurant is opening up, especially in light of COVID-19 and its potential to permanently change how we shop, dine, and do business forever.
One element of safety in public places that can and most likely will be implemented is the installation of physical barriers, dividers, and the like within an establishment. Tying that into the visual marketing needs of many businesses and industries, we believe the two can easily work in unison and help propel businesses forward as the world begins to reopen. When renowned retailer Suit Supply was faced with a life-or-death choice on how to keep their signature fittings that customers have grown to love. Forbes notes how their solution, “was the Safe Shopping Screen, where the man is encased in a plexiglass shell with strategically-placed openings that allow the sales professional to make the necessary adjustments”. This allows for the beloved attention to detail to continue and adhere to social distancing protocols all over the country. We found in the Washington Post, Wendy Liebmann, chief executive of WSL Strategic Retail, a New York-based consulting firm says: “Retailers are starting to consider more than just the cleanliness of their stores. They’re thinking about merchandising, about where things go. How can they make it easier for people to shop?”
Phase 2: Implementing Digital Solutions
While times change and evolve, businesses, companies and brands need to do just that to stay relevant and serve top solutions. Digital options were on the rise before COVID-19 and we can only expect the demand for them to grow even more. Think outside the box and let us help you make those ideas a reality for your business; catch up with the trends and start setting your own:
- Upgrade Your Website: a smooth UX with visually appealing design and useful sections are key for making your brand’s website a must for customers, especially for companies that depend on traffic and sales to make a profit (eCommerce, for example).
- Go Mobile: if your business is “app-able”, then you need to go for it and develop your own app. It’s not an easy task, but with users navigating more and more from their phones, any brand can really benefit from adapting their services into an app format.
- Online Promotions: think newsletters, promotion codes, special discounts, webinars – what benefit can you offer your online customers to keep them engaged, interested, while improving your KPIs?
- Social Media Boosts: by now, you probably already have your brand’s social media strategy figured out. If not, this is something that you need to correct ASAP. Digital branding finds its basis on social platforms, find your tone and voice and connect with your audience. Also have in mind that algorithms don’t really help organic content thrive, so you’ll probably need to invest (on both paid media as well as partnerships) to see results at first.
Phase 3: Ensuring Messaging is ‘friendly’ but Firm in Safety
Times right now are scary and it is important to communicate to your customers that you are here for them – as trusted providers while keeping their safety at high importance. How can you achieve a careful balance between serious and lighthearted messaging, that still speaks to your brand voice? Let’s take The Cape Cod Reopening Task Force as an example. As part of their reopening initiatives, the Task Force has begun offering access to “printable signs with messages that encourage physical distancing and the wearing of masks. The signs take different tones, ranging from, “Go Big on Social Distancing,” to the more blunt, “No Shirt, No Shoes, No Mask, No Service.” On the opposite coast, The County of Santa Cruz printed a “Screaming Hand” safety sign with text that reads “Clean Hands Save Lives” to remind the public of the seriousness of the virus with a bit of wit. Finally, to prepare incoming students for the Fall Semester, Indiana University has begun implementing COVID-19 signage for community safety. “We’re creating a dozen different signs, both to ensure consistency in messaging and not overwhelm our staff, faculty, students and campus visitors with too many instructions,” said Vanessa Combs, director of Quality Assurance and Safety with IU Capital Planning and Facilities. What can we take from these different examples from various parts of the nation? We must consistently remind the public that the virus is not officially over without paranoia but with a firm stance on safety.
While this may seem like a daunting task, our years of experience at Coloredge can make this process easier. Through completing signage for all types of clients, we know the process, backwards and forwards. Let our experienced team guide you.