If the tumultuous times we find ourselves in have created downtime for your marketing or branding efforts, now could be a chance to take stock and even make some improvements. Here are three areas to consider:

Take a hard look at your website

Websites are infinitely expandable and over time can accumulate a great deal of content, which is good in many ways, but they may also become obsolete or redundant. Blogs that may have been quite timely when they were first posted may now send an incorrect message or could be focused on keywords that aren’t so key anymore. Also, websites without rigid approval and proofreading protocols will inevitably contain typos and grammatical errors, sometimes more egregious than you realize. I’ve seen company names misspelled, omissions of critical words and embarrassing typos for brands both big and small. Any site with 25 or more pages has about a 95 percent chance of containing errors. If you’re unsure of your own proofing skills, hire a freelance proofreader to give you fresh eyes.

Examine your brand experience

Virtually every business that is still able to function has become more remote, more digital, or more physically separated than it was before. Even as we move past the peak period of isolation, a great deal of these measures will likely remain in place for some time. Understandably, many of these actions are new and being worked out. But it can help to think about how you can adapt your brand experience in ways that stay true to your brand and your company values. If you’re in retail, how can you improve the curbside pickup experience to be more convenient and efficient? If your business is conducting more video conferences than ever before, how can you improve the experience and include brand elements? (Even something as simple as having your logo in the background could be helpful.)

Audit your competition’s brands

It’s always a good idea to keep tabs on your competition’s branding, but with the stress of current events your competition will likely make changes you want to be aware of. This can come in large part by monitoring their public digital footprint on their websites and social media platforms. How much are they going with the common messages of, “We’re all in this together,” (which we are) and how much are they adding a unique twist to their message? What are they saying on their website or in social media? Take a close look at what their customers post on social media (this is assuming you are already doing the same for your brand as well). Are their customers pleased with the same service elements as yours? Do they have similar complaints? How is your competition responding to those compliments and, more important, to the complaints? There could be much to learn and take to heart in your own brand communications.

As always, continue communicating with your customers and listen carefully to their feedback. Expect to hear more complaints than usual. But keep in mind that there is opportunity with their discontent. If past stressful environments are any indication, sustaining brand loyalty and brand integrity now will pay dividends in the future.

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