The time of Covid 19 gave us all a quick reality check. We were forced to face up to our limitations as well as our flaws, and it exposed our less-prepared selves.
But as the saying goes, crisis presents opportunity, and so it was that the Covid crisis presented us with the opportunity to get back to basics and to evaluate the things that really matter in our lives and in our companies.
In our case at g7, it was a re-acknowledgement that it is relationships that matter; trusted relationships and partnerships built over time with employees and customers alike. As representatives of brands in retail, our field force was providing the essential service of ensuring that the necessary products were always available for shoppers.
It was gratifying to hear from the loyal customers we talked to instore that same sentiment of ‘trust’ and ‘reliability in relation to their favorite brands were important to them. When there is much uncertainty and a lot that is unknown that we rely on the people and the brands that we trust. In other words, we trust those with whom we have a good relationship. These challenging times also presented us with an opportunity to be courageous and try to experiment with things that we would have never dare to do before.
While before Covid there were some tacitly agreed-upon “board game” type rules to our reality, formulated largely as a result of what was deemed to be expedient when working in an interactive marketing field; a good deal of this equilibrium has now been disrupted. Much of the way we work, shop, and interact has changed, and we are faced with a new reality. It is up to us to accept the challenge and courageously set our own new ways of doing business, much like the EFMP did for the brands we represent throughout Europe.
So, have you ever tried digital merchandising services for your products? Or home demonstrations? Or used a virtual promoter or hologram interaction? Consumers and brands have never been more receptive to embracing new innovations and we realized that now is the time to take the risk and test our ideas. However, with all the concentration on reconstruction, re-invention, and innovation, it is well to remember that we need to build on a solid foundation.
Our lesson at g7 was to build on our core competencies. It was necessary to re-discover and re-affirm these competencies, and to start the way forward by building on our ‘best-in-class attributes. There may be a temptation to go with what seems to be new or even ‘obvious’ in this post-Covid context, but if such practice is outside the scope of your expertise, there is a danger of wasting precious resources on trying to attain something with only mediocre results.
At g7, and in the EFMP, we’re great at direct selling and interaction with customers; we’re best-in-class at designing the strategy for your brand to be visible and memorable, and we’re really good at reaching out to your customers. What we do differently now is that we innovate for our brands regarding the means/ methods by which we reach the shoppers while remaining true to our expertise. This is how we came up with online Salesforce services, touchless sampling, and omnichannel redemption methods, to name just a few of our new releases.
During this time we also chose to keep looking for inspiration in other industries and in other fields. Inspiration can be found everywhere, in different cultures, times, or areas of activity. So, while making sure that your brand is visible and there for your customers when it really matters, keep scouting for inspiration! It can only bring rewards and creative ways of not only looking at but really seeing the things around us.
Originally published on efmp.com