Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
Since Covid-19, brands have been getting more creative in reaching new audiences and staying relevant. Marketing ideas that worked in pre-pandemic times are now deemed irrelevant, and what worked last year doesn’t necessarily mean it is guaranteed to resonate with your audience today. Scaling has become more critical than ever to survive. Here are five ways companies are scaling up their business.
Related: How to Adapt your Marketing to the Post-Covid Era
1. Providing a broader offering
Before the pandemic, you would save up your points to redeem for flights, upgrade them or exchange them for a toaster for yourself or as a gift for your loved one. Qantas, however, realized that because of Covid-19, many people are stockpiling massive amounts of points and aren’t so willing to jet around the world during these uncertain times. With this change in consumer behavior, Qantas partnered with some of Australia’s elite private schools to help parents pay their high school fees. Instead of cashing in those points for a kitchen appliance, now parents can get their kid’s education off to a flying start.
To apply this concept to your business, take a deep dive into what your customers want and then provide them with a service or product that encourages client retention.
Related: Want Customers To Stick Around? Get Their Feedback From Day 1 (and Keep Doing It)
2. Attracting new audiences
Growing up, KFC has always positioned itself as a family restaurant that brings kids and parents together around the table with its takeaway family-size drums of chicken and family-friendly dine-in restaurants.
Fast forward to 2022, KFC is now partnering with Grammy-nominated American rapper Jack Harlow to promote its fast-food brand. The restaurant’s squeaky clean image is being somewhat challenged by its new partnership with Harlow, whose sometimes risque lyrics would perhaps not go down too well at the family dinner table.
This strategic move for KFC is set to make the brand attractive to a whole new generation of KFC consumers while also appealing to existing ones.
Sometimes it’s worthwhile stretching the boundaries of your brand identity to see what other sweet spots you can tap into that will allow you to resonate with new audiences outside of your realm.
Related: 10 Ways to Get Global PR Exposure
3. Embracing diversity and inclusion
Until recently, Abercrombie & Fitch had no diversification in its advertising whatsoever. Now, however, the fashion retailer is LGBTQ+ friendly — featuring a Pride range of gender-inclusive products and using minority groups in its advertising to redefine its purpose and celebrate Pride Month. In addition, the retailer launched its Equity Project, an initiative dedicated to social and racial justice while empowering all voices. A&F has come a long way, especially when you consider the extensive backlash the brand faced after refusing to cater to plus-sizes at some of its retail locations. That changed, however, in 2014, when the retailer started offering larger plus sizes for some of its women’s clothes. Fran Horowitz, A&F’s CEO, stated that A&F isn’t a brand where you need to fit in anymore — it’s one where everyone truly belongs.
Consumers want and crave a sense of belonging to make them feel like they are a part of a community while not excluding others, so embracing inclusivity and diversity is an absolute must.
4. Going green
More companies realize that their customers want them to be sustainable and greener. Let’s take A&F, for example. The company is committed to prioritizing sustainable energy usage and using eco-friendly products. Apple also jumped on the green bandwagon by carrying out carbon-neutral operations since 2020 and pledging to make carbon-neutral products by 2030. Some of its plans to “leave the world better than we found it” include using renewable energy, designing low-carbon products and avoiding direct carbon emissions.
We all don’t have the capability to switch to being 100% carbon neutral immediately. Still, there are strategies in place that, as an entrepreneur, we can promote that our business is implementing while still having a positive impact on the planet.
Related: 15 Startups Contributing To Sustainability
5. Exploring opportunities beyond the physical world
The metaverse seems to be gaining momentum by the minute, and many forward-thinking brands have already established a presence.
Nike is leading the way in terms of brands demonstrating that a “sell the lifestyle” ethos can work just as effectively in the digital world as it does in the real world.
NFTs are also becoming popular due to this trend. Businesses worldwide are now jumping into the NFT space to get the early adopter advantage and take advantage of what is rapidly becoming a long-term trend. Even famous personalities like Gary Vee, Lionel Messi, and Justin Bieber are launching their own.
As technology rapidly advances, we can expect NFTs and the metaverse to revolutionize business models and pivot careers. NFTs have already disrupted several industries, including art and music. The metaverse is yet to launch officially across the world, but it promises to redefine how we work, live and socialize. NFTs will power the metaverse economy.
Learning how NFTs can boost your brand awareness and customer loyalty will create unique consumer experiences. One such way to spread the word about your business is to create digital versions of your brand’s products and mint them as NFTs. Given the huge commercial potential of NFTs, it would be an oversight for brands not to include, or at least consider, NFTs in their overall business strategy and operations.
Since Covid-19, the world has realized that we are more connected than we have imagined, and marketing, PR and advertising strategies that have worked previously no longer make the cut. Consumers have adopted technology rapidly, and for businesses to survive and scale, they will need to listen to what their customers want and deliver it to them when they want it. These strategies outlined above will allow you to scale your company in both the physical and the digital realm.
Related: Why Your Business Needs to Prepare for the Metaverse