4 Coronavirus Problems Brands Will Face in 2021
Covid-19 has forced companies to deal with unprecedented challenges, from employee and customer health and safety to supply chain issues and more. Now, with vaccines becoming more available, 2021 seems to be a good year for a rebound. However, having crossed into 2021 with the threat of the pandemic still serious, companies will continue to face disruption and change. The best way to prepare is to be aware of possible challenges and devise possible solutions in advance. Here are four issues companies will face in 2021.
1) Supporting remote working
Last year saw a major shift to remote working as governments called on companies to have as few people as possible working on location. With the need for social distancing continuing in 2021, remote working remains the way to go for most businesses. In these cases, companies will have to deal with the challenges that come with supporting their employees to work effectively from home. For starters, companies will have to equip their remote workforce with the right online tools for collaboration and communication. They also must successfully support the coaching and training of their remote workers. Most important, managers will have to ensure that people working from home remain engaged and motivated to remain productive throughout the year.
2) Promoting a healthy mindset at work
As Covid-19 continues to infect and affect people globally, it continues to create anxiety, fear, and hopelessness. Adding to this, employees working from home have additional pressure to perform as they deal with household distractions, while the very act of working in isolation takes a toll on a good number of them. All this creates a need for companies to be proactive in handling their remote teams’ psychological safety and emotional well-being. Besides providing online collaboration and communication tools is the need to ensure that teams actually use them. Managers will be tasked with promoting virtual meetings, and can plan happy hours among their remote teams to keep up morale (and productivity). Throughout, managers must focus on their employees’ strengths, rather than their weaknesses, and offer continual feedback. Moreover, given that managers cannot pour from an empty cup, to be able to help their staff they must achieve some kind of emotional stability themselves. To do this, they will need to schedule time for self-care focused on maintaining their stable mental and emotional health.
3) Providing virtual interactions for customers
With the call to avoid crowded places and ongoing mandates to stay at home, most people prefer to conduct their purchasing online these days. where possible, brands focused on retaining their customers have turned to online platforms to engage customers virtually. The good thing about having an online presence is that brands are able to present their offerings to a broader, more diverse global market. The challenge, however, comes with successfully conveying the brand message in a way (and language) all potential customers can understand. To clear this hurdle, companies can partner with reputable translation firms offering reliable professional translation services to ensure that their websites and online pages are translated professionally and accurately.
4) Rebuilding customer relationships
The Covid-19 pandemic has affected businesses in many different ways. Probably the biggest hit for most companies is in the area of customer relationships. It is evident that customer loyalty and faith in business are much lower than before the pandemic. If businesses are to restore their customers’ faith in what they offer, relationships affected by the pandemic in 2020 must be redeveloped and revitalized in 2021.
One way to achieve this is to offer free giveaways, and use the opportunity to offer credible information about their business or the pandemic to their customers. Information regarding the pandemic is all over, much of it inaccurate or misleading. Customers will appreciate receiving valid and credible information from a source they trust. This is an area brands can leverage. Brands also can use their customers’ data to know what their customers need and expect from them. This way they can create more personalized messaging and ads that can further strengthen the bond with consumers.
Brands will have the opportunity to breathe easy once the pandemic is gone and forgotten. Until then, even with vaccines being deployed to the public, many problems (and changes in consumer behavior) will linger much longer; some will be permanent. We’ve highlighted only four of them here. Brands in 2021 must expect the unexpected – and be prepared to respond quickly and accordingly.
Rebeca Miller is a marketing manager with an interest in global trade and supply chains. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Share this Feature
Comments:comments powered by Disqus
- Multi-Unit Franchising
- Get Started in Franchising
- Open New Units
- Featured Franchise Stories