Friday, April 3, 2020

Survival of the Weirdest? Re-tooling Your Brand

A good friend of mine from grad school days is now a strategic branding and marketing guru (@leighgeorge on Instagram) and has been posting a lot of great stuff lately about how companies are retooling their brand in this pandemic.

Her various posts cite Nike's latest as one great example:
If you want to see more - including one upscale restaurant that has pivoted dramatically to "meet customers where they are" - check out Leigh's Instagram feed. If you want some great food for thought, ditto. Leigh posted this question several days ago and I've been thinking about it a lot:

Supermarkets are sending weekly emails in the UK about how they are feeding the nation and keeping us safe. We both need and want the reassurance that they're providing.

Local restaurants are now offering takeaway and delivery, offering a break from the relentless cooking. One local restaurant here even has a "date night" menu on Thursdays, available for takeaway. 

Boredom busters - Zoos are streaming, musicians are streaming, the West End and Broadway are streaming. PE with Joe Wicks at 9am Monday through Friday is "getting the nation moving" and is trending on Twitter almost daily.

It's astonishing to me how quickly - and in many cases, how well - these businesses have responded to this "new normal". 

And I...have not. 


Everyone I hear from says their attention spans are shot. My attention span is shot! But there's this little niggle in the back of my head that says, "Six months from now, what do I want to have to show for this?" Endless scrolling of Twitter and BBC News? Or something else? 

Some authors have started releasing chapters of what will presumably be a new novel/novella for free. Jami Albright, one of my fave romcom authors, released chapter 1 of LOVE, QUARANTINE AND OTHER INCONVENIENCES on her blog late last night. 

(Speaking of free, there are a lot of authors offering up free books right now. A LOT.)

Some authors are buying groceries for families in need on Twitter (Angie Thomas and Jason Reynolds did this just yesterday.)

Some authors are posting lots of dog pics on social media (raises hand) and aren't quite sure what to do and how to do things differently now because books take time and attention, and both can be a challenge right now in this time of home schooling/the-whole-family-at-home-every-minute-of-the-day. Never mind the very real anxiety of a global pandemic. 

But then I go back to the question Leigh posted that's been echoing in my thoughts - What do my customers need from me in this moment? And I feel like I owe it to them - and to myself - to figure that out.

What are YOU doing to retool your brand, fellow authors? And readers - what are you seeing from your favorite authors that is really resonating with you right now???

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