By Henry Uche, Lagos
Brand Strategist and Managing Partner, Eikon Grae, Gidyon Thompson, has urged brands to put the interest of people first before making profits in business. He urged them to re-evaluate their thinking and adjust quickly to the effects of the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic on customers.
In a New Year message, Thompson said the experience of 2020 should guide brands in the New Year, especially as the world struggles with the effects of the pandemic.
According to him, brands in 2021 must revisit their brand purpose and amend it accordingly to ensure it allows them to advocate for something definite. Noting that since consumers are demanding for responsible and responsive brands, brands must design their CSR or BSR models to permeate every aspect of the business.
He stressed that CSR should not just be a focus, but it should be a critical business function deeply rooted in the operation of the business. He cited some brands that fed #EndSARS protesters, committing themselves to give back to communities and people to help them cope with isolation.
He maintained that the gesture further strengthened the faith of people in those brands and increased patronage, got people talking and even gained them brand loyalty for taking part in the cause they were fighting for, noting that the act had made people begin to patronise brands, which they know would show up for them when they are in need.
Thompson advised brands on the need to prioritise quality assurance and invest in building an enjoyable experience in consumer-facing brand touchpoints. He affirmed that brands this year should come to terms with the fact that people should come before profit, and to understand that consumers are not a mere number but active partners for brands’ growth.
He said the rise in celebrity advocacy should also be taken into consideration by brands that intend to grow big into 2021 and beyond, adding that it was necessary for brands to align their brand vision with celebrity personal brand values, as a brand may be negatively or positively affected when celebrities they work with decide to advocate for certain issues and policies that do not tally with the core vision of the brands they represent.
‘The COVID-19 pandemic created a huge shift in 2020. Beyond people and families, industries and brands alike have had to deal with the effects and impact of a novel virus that has ravaged the world. These impacts transcend brands to include customers whose needs and wants have changed drastically. This change calls for tact in reaching to and managing customers in the New Year,’ he said.