Navigating your business and its needs during “normal” times isn’t always easy—that’s a fact. Throw in a worldwide pandemic, with its ever-evolving nature, and the waters can become even harder to navigate.
As states and businesses begin to and continually reopen, often in different stages, now is the time to think about how to protect your employees and customers without sacrificing that critical branded experience that is the bread and butter of your business success. While some businesses might be hesitant to “go all in” with branding during these sensitive times, some recent studies show some interesting insights as to what consumers are actually looking for from businesses in this never-before-experienced environment:
- 52% of participants felt that seeing + hearing ads actually gave them a sense of normalcy, which is something we’re all craving.
- 64% of participants said brands should continue advertising products as normal, again, contributing to that sense of normalcy.
- 77% agreed they feel more positively about brands making an effort to support society at the moment vs 7% of respondents who said brands should continue using their normal (pre-pandemic) brand tone.
- 70% of respondents said brands should boost positivity and share positive stories.
The message is pretty loud and clear: Brands don’t need to shy away from getting their message out into the world while still sensitively reflecting the current state of the world. Through careful and well thought out planning where the needs of both customers and employees are taken into account as well as state and local regulations, businesses can actually promote feelings of normalcy and safety—so important in today’s environment.
While it can feel overwhelming to prepare to reopen and remain open in this ever-changing environment, there are several products businesses can utilize to better maneuver these transitions:
“We’re open for business” signage
The most important signage your business needs right now will tell customers you’re open for business and how you’re open for business (operating hours, in-person, drive-thru only, online only, etc.). If your customers don’t have this information, they’ll probably move on to your competitors, taking their even harder earned dollars with them. So, ensure your operating status is as clear possible through your use of this type of signage, and be as creative as possible so your brand and business stand out from the rest. But don’t forget, you can add your brand name and a branded look and feel to your signage, providing a comfortable context to a somewhat unknown and new experience.
With many state and federal regulations requiring signage to promote hand washing and sanitizing, this type of signage will be essential now and into the future. You’ll also need safety signage to both remind and show customers and employees how to adhere to social distancing policies (including signage placed on floors and in seating areas), state the number of occupants allowed per room/space, offer information about COVID-related symptoms, help with customer movement through the use of directional signage (entrances, exits, movement patterns), and more depending on your business. Again, this doesn’t have to mean stock signs. Adding your businesses’ personal touch with specific typography, brand colors, and logo design is a great way to get the best of both worlds.
Stations + barriers
From stations with hand sanitizer placed throughout your business, to facial barriers and face coverings that are required for some employees, to wall-like barriers in retail settings (retail stores, salons, barber shops, and other closer-contact customer-related businesses) as well as in community office areas and work spaces, protecting both employees and customers from exposure to COVID-19 is a way of life for the foreseeable future. For any stations and barriers, and especially for employee-related personal barriers (like face masks, shields, and barrier walls), be sure to add your branding to make your employees and business stand out from the crowd and show customers that you take everyone’s protection and safety very seriously.
This desire to not only keep customers and employees safe but also promote your brand and your business translate to your daily business operations in tangible ways. In order to operate safely, businesses need to pivot—and not panic—to more successfully navigate today’s environment by finding ways to provide necessary and specific safety measures for both customers and employees while also offering customers that branded experience they’re used to, resulting in both customers and employees feeling safer and adding crucial dollars to your bottom line.
When you need any of the above for your business, we are now operating at standard production rates for all of these items with no long wait times. To better help your business pivot and stay on track in these changing times, we have created this brief video.
And for assistance in deciding how to best help your business and your brand safely and successfully navigate today’s COVID-19 environment, please contact us today!