As the world tentatively eases from the general lockdown, businesses and brands are slowly opening up their awnings trying to navigate through the mist that 2021 offers. 2020 came with a storm of uncertainties leaving unprepared brands and businesses little time to grapple with positioning themselves to their consumers.
2020 has changed the world, perhaps forever. Companies and brands need to understand and map out new ways of connecting with their consumers. But this cannot be done if consumer behaviours that are already altered by a pandemic are not understood.
2021 too has its uncertainties and the brands and businesses that weathered the storm of the previous year need a new approach to get through this peculiar period and beyond. Some products and services like video-conferencing apps and video-streaming services have become essential products replacing physical meetings and cinemas respectively. Other brands have stumbled across the way trying to understand how best to connect with customers and remain relevant.
ID Africa and BHM’s lead consultants and advisers Enitan Kehinde, Precious Nwachukwu, Iretomiwa Akintunde-Johnson and Njideka Akabogu, in this 8-part guide, explore the intricate issues companies and communication experts need to look out for and address in order to be a step ahead as the post-pandemic season sets in.
Iretomiwa Akintunde-Johnson, a lead PR and communications adviser at ID Africa, writes on why creativity alone is not enough for communications campaigns to thrive but have to be properly managed through long-term strategic planning. “Long-term planning allows businesses to anticipate multiple scenarios and possible solutions long before uncertainty smacks them in the face. These gaffes sometimes paint a picture of rushed plans and executions, or a failure to view the results through the eyes of the customer we seek to attract.”
As the pandemic ushered in popular expressions and new ways of life like social distancing, remote-working and stay-at-home, the world is also seeing a renewed interest in community building. Precious Nwachukwu, a lead consultant at BHM believes that “…brands are faced with the task of building a powerful network of supporters who will not only hold each other up but also keep the bottom line up amid ambiguity. Brands that invest in engaging a passionate community can create a loyal customer base and make a great difference in brand building/growth.”
Many companies were unprepared for the difficulties that came with the pandemic and so struggled to have their heads above waters, something Enitan Kehinde, lead consultant, FMCG at BHM, believes planning would have helped to make a lot of difference “The true magic however comes in being one step ahead – possessing the ability to foresee an issue and proactively plan ahead or have a template prepared and ready to deal with such issues when they arise.”
Njideka Akabogu, lead PR and Communications Adviser and ID Africa, argues that the concept of thought leadership from within is not being exploited enough and that “Businesses can greatly benefit from positioning themselves and their in-house experts as thought leaders in whatever space they play in, not just by echoing what has been said a million times over, but by making meaningful contributions and championing conversations that move the needle in their various industries.”
BHM Group seeks to foster an in-depth understanding of the world’s business, tech, commercial, and communications landscape, with a unique perspective that Africa provides. The series is to be updated bi-annually, in order to serve as a guide to where our world could be five years from now.
You can read the entire editorial by clicking HERE