Crisis brings both anxiety and opportunity to the forefront. It is our job as leaders to manage the stress, understand the opportunities and pivot, shift, or change to set our brands up for success in the new economy.
In his monthly column for Insurance Nerds, Vancouver based employee engagement and internal brand communications expert Ben Baker shares his insights into how to communicate value effectively, so people want to listen and engage. In the end, it’s about creating influence through trust.
In the aftermath of the financial crisis of 2008, the world economy had unprecedented growth. We have enjoyed ten years or more of year-over-year expansion and profitability. If you had asked the majority of people in business in early 2008, if this were going to be the case, you would have probably gotten many looks of disbelief.
However, those who benefited from the aftermath of 2008 where the ones who realized, that the economy has changed, and with that change, came opportunity. This was the time when Uber and AirBnB were founded, and their creativity and foresight paved the way for many incredible companies to be developed, including Lemonade.
Each of these companies was founded on the understanding that change was needed within the marketplace, and by offering the world a different way to do business, that met the needs of their clientele and solved problems that were currently not being addressed, they could thrive.
There will be new and forward-thinking companies conceived and built post-COVID-19, but there will also be amazing companies that take a look at where they have been, understand where they are, see where the market is going, and either pivot or shift.
Your Brand Marketing incorporated in January 2008. Our services have shifted since our inception. We have thrived based on the understanding that the world has changed, and we have needed to pivot or shift based upon those needs. It has been about utilizing our skills to solve new problems as they arise.
An example of a company that is the result of a series of pivots is Miakomo. This is a company that, over the last 30 days, has created thirty thousand reusable masks that are not relying on a specific type of filter and have goals to ramp up to five million masks in the next few months. Instead of saving money and producing the mold offshore, they are producing the masks in the USA. “Miakomo is the result of a pivot of eleven different companies,” says Scott Paul, one of the company’s co-founders. From logistics experts to an injection molding company to marketers, Amazon fulfillment experts, and even Exxon, this company was built on experts in their field, seeing the need to shift and come together to create something new and innovative. Scott says, “we are here for the long haul. We want to become a player in the PPE market now and into the future.”
Within thirty days, these eleven companies have come together, developed a mold, produced prototypes, created an online company story, and started fulfilling masks, mostly to the dental market. “These are the next group of professionals that are coming online, and they need a viable option for PPE without draining the current health care needs,” says Scott Paul.
Miakomo has developed a shell that takes a filter so that you are not throwing away the entire mask, just the filter. The mask is injected molded produced from FDA approved materials supplied by Exxon, so they can easily be wiped down and reused. Their challenge is expediting FDA approval, and if anyone reading this has expertise in this area, please reach out to Scott through the link here.
Companies, large and small, need to take the time now to assess if what they were doing pre-COVID-19 will be viable post-COVID-19. For many businesses, the answer will be yes, but if you are not asking the question and understanding why things have changed, and not just how, companies that had found themselves successful in the past may find themselves obsolete in the near future. Asking questions of your customers, vendors, and employees are crucial to understanding what is next.
Some questions to be asking yourself:
- How has your market shifted?
- What are the needs of your key clients now and moving forward?
- How has the economy shifted how they do business and how those changes are forcing them to react and change?
- Who are the new players emerging in your market, and what are they doing differently than you are?
- Is the messaging that you have across your website, social media, marketing materials, etc. tone-deaf to the new realities?
- What are the new markets you see that are adjacent to yours, and what are they currently doing to support their clients?
- Can you align with them to better serve both your clientele together?
- How are you pivoting, shifting your focus, or changing your company to take advantage of the new economy?
- What are the skill sets that you have in-house, and how can you better utilize those skills to become more valuable moving forward?
- How are you communicating how you are pivoting, shifting, or changing, both inside your company and to your client base, so that everyone understands the changes, and will support you moving forward?
Wishing you safety, health, and success.
Ben Baker wants to help you engage, retain, and grow your most valuable asset … your employees. He provides workshops and consulting to enable staff to understand, codify, and communicate their value effectively internally and externally and Retain Employees Through Leadership. The author of Powerful Personal Brands: A Hands-On Guide to Understanding Yours and the host of the IHEART Radio syndicated YourLIVINGBrand.live show, he writes extensively on leadership, brand, and internal communication strategy.
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