E-commerce brands can view the current scenario as an opportunity, provided they are able to focus on brand building and innovation
By Bharath Sastry
The COVID-19 pandemic has, without a doubt, altered the way we go about our lives. Companies too are trying to figure out ways to be in sync with the ‘new normal’. E-commerce brands can view the current scenario as an opportunity, provided they are able to focus on few and important marketing mantras, that will help them survive through the crisis and thrive in the future. Here are some simple marketing mantras that can be followed.
Know your ability – Strategy
An alternate word for business strategy is Focus. Focus is about knowing oneself, in this case it’s about knowing the ability of your business or brand that makes it attractive to consumers while also being profitable. Defining the areas of focus for a business is not easy. There are opportunities in many areas, and it requires a deep understanding of consumer needs and an honest assessment of the brand’s ability to meet those needs to arrive at the areas of focus. It also means knowing what the business cannot do and the areas where it cannot win. In the current situation, it becomes even more imperative for brands or businesses to understand the area where they should play in and rationalize their portfolios accordingly. That will help in ensuring focus of the organisation towards the most important priorities that the business can deliver.
What do you offer? – Brand Building
Building a strong brand is of critical importance to any business, and it’s no different in the current situation. Many companies tend to only invest in performance driven marketing and short-term measures like discounts and high levels of activity where an immediate impact is perceived. While these are needed, it’s vital to continue building on the brand proposition to ensure the long-term health of the brand. A brand proposition is simply the benefits, functional and emotional, that a brand provides consumers. Identifying these benefits based on observations and insights from consumers and communicating them in an interesting way is critical to form strong and meaningful connections with consumers. Brands that will continue to focus on this in the current situation will also come out of it stronger.
Stretch while being rooted – Innovation
The common saying that modern problems require modern solutions is true. Consumers are constantly on the lookout for new products and services that are enhanced and cater better to their requirements. The pandemic has presented an opportunity as consumers’ requirements are evolving, and brands can dedicate their resources to come up with creative solutions that serve these requirements, while still being rooted to the brand proposition mentioned above. For example, an e-commerce firm in the furniture space can launch home-office solutions, a consulting firm can offer remote-expert consultations online etc.
While these steps might seem to pose a challenge of choosing a medium to reach consumers, it is, in fact, quite simple. Gone are the days when television was the only way to let the consumers know about your product/service. With technology and digitisation, brands are now taking to social media where consumers spend most of their time. E-commerce shopping has significantly increased since the onset of the pandemic and adapting these mantras will give further boost to the boom.
The author is CEO, Vistaprint India