The lockdowns and other restrictions put in place in 2020 thrust several industries into survival mode and also led to a dramatic change in consumer behavior and spending habits. Now, nearly two years later, as industries begin to accept this “new normal,” it’s imperative that businesses reevaluate their brands and adapt new strategies to grow in the coming year. As your business moves into 2022, here are five trends to consider incorporating into your business plans:
The past two years have brought social issues to the forefront of consumers’ consciousness. They are actively researching a company’s values before making a purchase. In a research study conducted by McKinsey, 61% of consumers claimed that how a brand responds during a crisis will determine if they continue buying from that brand when the crisis is over.
Whether you like it or not, we’re living in the era of Brand Purpose. You must be able to answer your company’s WHY, and the consumer needs to be made aware of it. Find out what your organization is passionate about and identify ways to draw parallels back to your product or service. Make your purpose the cornerstone of your culture and be a role model for your purpose.
Your company doesn’t exist to save the world, and consumers understand that. But modern consumers do expect you to prioritize social responsibility. Brands that endeavor to do good are destined to do better. Doing good starts with identifying and rallying behind your brand’s higher calling, so make Brand Purpose a priority in 2022.
The pandemic forced individuals and businesses to come together as a community and help each other out in difficult times. If you haven’t already, your brand should adapt its marketing strategy to this shift. Try taking a grassroots approach to communication by localizing your brand experience. Brands that focus on supporting and nurturing their local communities in times of crisis will not only stand out from their competitors but also gain customer loyalty and trust.
Jennifer DaSilva, the founder of Start Small Think Big, a non-profit focused on helping entrepreneurs from disadvantaged communities, said, “One of the things about a crisis is that it does bring out creativity and ingenuity and typically, collaboration and incredible generosity. When people work together, they’re able to accomplish more, so I think this has changed everybody and brought many of us closer together. People have to pivot. They have to think more creatively. They have to think more collaboratively. So this is forcing people into that space where things that were nice to do before are now imperative.”
The community-focused trend is likely here to stay, so take some time early in 2022 to think about how you can creatively impact your local community.
In the same vein as the previous trend, companies are starting to become more open to collaboration and partnerships with other like-minded businesses. Collaboration is certainly not a new trend, but it gained footing at the start of the pandemic and hasn’t slowed. In early 2020, when small businesses were heavily impacted by mass closures and travel restrictions, business owners were quick to notice the benefits of partnerships and collaboration.
By partnering with another company, you gain access to each other’s knowledge. In the words of Benjamin Franklin, “An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.” Partnerships increase your level expertise, allow you more resources to provide better products or services, and help reach a greater audience. Partnerships can also enhance your business’s credibility. According to Profit.co, when companies that share the same goals and vision join forces, the influence and strength of each organization can grow dramatically. Stronger businesses provide better products and deliver more qualitative services to customers, which boosts overall brand equity.
As evidenced, partnerships can be very beneficial to all parties involved, but there are several factors to consider before choosing a partner or collaborator. You must be able to trust the decision making, temperament, and competence of your partner and vice versa. Your company goals and values must also align. Partnering with a company that does not share your primary objectives will inevitably lead to a clash of values and drive a wedge into the partnership.
One of the biggest challenges for brands in 2022 will be to cope with ever-changing consumer behavior. Business-related restrictions due to COVID-19 seem to be lessening with time, but new variants are bound to surface, and businesses need to be prepared to handle that. As witnessed in the past two years, this will require you to adapt your communication strategies quickly.
It’s important to remember that changes in your messaging can have a huge impact on your brand and can lead to an almost immediate increase or reduction in your brand value. In 2022, it will be especially crucial for your business to determine what kind of content it’s putting out and what channels you’re using to communicate with your consumers. High quality content is essential to maintaining brand consistency. If you need more convincing, read what Waypost has to say about the importance of content marketing. Then check out this article from HubSpot for more information of the benefits of consistent, high-quality content marketing.
Have you thought about your company culture recently? If you haven’t, think about making it a priority in 2022. A strong company culture will attract the right job candidates and keep them engaged as employees. According to a recent Glassdoor study, 77% of adults evaluate a company’s culture before applying for an open position and 56% rank a company’s culture as more important than compensation. Let that sink in—more than half of current jobseekers value culture over salary.
The 2020 Jobvite Jobseeker Nation Report reiterated these findings. They found that 40% of candidates believe culture is very important in the application process, with a grand total of 81% of job seekers citing it as deciding factor. 39% of workers cited company culture as one of the factors that influenced their decision to accept a job offer or not. Perhaps even more surprising is that of the 34% of job seekers who left a job within the first 90 days, 35% of them cited company culture their primary reason for leaving.
Are you losing skilled employees and quality job candidates because your company culture is not a priority or maybe even non-existent? Crafting, improving, and cultivating your company culture can be a long journey, but taking decisive steps forward in 2022 will ultimately benefit your company and lead to measurable success.
Taking these trends into consideration, it’s imperative that businesses reevaluate their brands and adapt new strategies to grow in the coming year. Whether you’re looking to enhance or define your company’s brand and culture or looking for a partner who can assist you in strategic content marketing, Waypost can help you grow in 2022. Contact us today to get started.