With the COVID-19 crisis in full swing, many companies are making a quick transition to remote work and e-commerce. A lot of traditional offline businesses are feeling the impact of this, as their success builds on conventional “human touch” type marketing.

Online businesses, however, are flourishing by providing high demand virtual services. While bricks and mortar stores are suffering from product shortages and demand higher than supply, online stores are reporting that their sales are up and consumer demand for their services is high.

Brand survival in the COVID-19 pandemic

Just recently, a survey said that 32% of consumers indicated they were replacing in-store trips with online purchases, racing up from only 4% the week before. The COVID-19 pandemic is pushing more people to online resources.

Virtual businesses need to be flexible and agile structures to respond to altering business conditions so they can adapt quickly to the changing market.

More than ever, it is crucial that your brand stands out in the sea of virtual retailers, all looking to take advantage of this upswing in online buying. Your brand must be remarkable to survive.

The importance of (developing) your online brand

There are advantages to transforming yourself into an online brand. One clear example is it can lower your expenses – there are no bricks and mortar properties to maintain, and advertising is combined into your online marketing. Online brands are also able to gain access to new markets and attain new customers because a physical location does not bind them.

The most important thing to remember here is this: Your brand positioning matters more than ever.

Positioning your brand online is vital to gain a sustainable competitive advantage in the changing global market.

The Branding Journal has a pretty clear definition in this case.

Effective brand positioning can be described as the extent to which a brand is perceived as favorable, different, and credible in consumers’ minds.

Your brand might already be remarkable; however, great brands are always adjusting their strategy in response to the changes in the market. Be flexible and adapt to the changing conditions.

Creating your brand positioning strategy

In an overly saturated global virtual market, how consumers perceive your brand determines your company’s success. Using effective positioning methods will increase the trust and help you survive this time.

So how can you adjust your brand positioning during this challenging time?

There are four key factors you need to take into consideration here.

What Differentiates You From the Rest?

What is your unique selling proposition? What benefits does your brand have that it can deliver? How can you benefit your customers during these difficult times?

How do you stand out from your competitors?

Take a few moments to sit down and think about the answers to these questions. (I suggest using my brand canvas, so you can map it all out and put all your thoughts in line.) This will make it easier to work out precisely what it is you do, what you offer your clients, and what makes you different from your competitors.

What is Your Target Market?

Establish what your target market is. Take the time to research and understand your target market, and make sure your communication precisely pinpoints this group.

Many companies fall into difficulties with marketing because they tend to skip over this part of developing their brand positioning and focus instead on putting their marketing strategy into place first.

It can lead to mixed messages and inconsistent design, which can be confusing for your audience, and may even damage your business’ credibility. Being aware of your target market, and creating your strategy around them is vital!

Create Your Frame of Reference.

Your frame of reference is how consumers view your brand. It’s the first thing customers will try to figure out – what category does your brand fit into? What products or services do you offer?

The idea is to choose a competitive frame of reference that reduces the number of brands competing for attention in your niches. Narrow your focus, so you don’t go head to head with established players and fighting for the all-important customer attention.

Establish your proof

Why are you the best, or the only brand that can suit your target market? Where’s your proof that you’re different? What do you have that no one else has, and how do you prove this to your potential customers?

Your messaging needs to be consistent and suit your audience – pick your strongest points and make these the key messages in your marketing communications. Remember, your communication should be clear and reflect your brand’s purpose and be honest.

The outbreak of COVID-19 might severely impact you, but this might be a good time to re-assess your brand position. Focus on what you can control and take the time to see how you can make a positive change to your online presence. If you’re ready to take a step into maintaining or changing your brand positioning, the iGina team is prepared to help you and support your business.

Why not start with a Brand Snapshot?A quick start focused brand analysis with me. This fun, eye-opening, 3-hour branding workshop will help you establish your brand foundations and get you started in the right direction for your brand strategy.

Are you ready for something bigger and ready to take a plunge into rebranding?

Then the Brand Elixir is for you! Transform your brand with this intensive, online workshop where we can make important discoveries together. I’ll take your brand from ordinary to extraordinary after this with word crafting, logos, and styling delivered to you, so you can make your brand genuinely remarkable.

Curious about how we can work together, or not sure where to start? Why not get in touch and find out how I can help you reposition your brand even in times of crisis.

The Way Forward

Guiding female entrepreneurs on their journey to a remarkable brand is the mission of the Brand Alchemy Library. My new passion project!

The Brand Alchemy Library is a supportive community and resource vault designed to help your business thrive.

Inside, my #1 priority is to help entrepreneurs break free of the cycle of spending hours and hours googling how to’s and templates. The resources I provide in the library are 100% vetted and the exact frameworks, templates, exercises, and worksheets that I use with my clients.

Learn more about what this platform has to offer and how you can join the waitlist here!

But, I’ll tell you now, if truly becoming a remarkable brand is your goal, you NEED to be in the Library. Just saying.

Until next time,

Who am I? 

I'm Gina Dunn, Brand Strategist and CEO of iGina - and my mission is to help entrepreneurs to define and build brands. Let's bring your brand to life!

Did you know that brand-led businesses outperform their competition by 83%? Get started by mapping out your very own brand strategy yourself with our Brand Canvas - get it here.