What innovative brands are doing NOW to move forward in a post-pandemic world.

I think it’s finally setting in that a world already changing at fairly break-neck speed has experienced a cataclysmic social shift that is most likely going stay around for a while. Our American way of life has run head-on into COVID-19 and like the infamous honey badger (adult language warning!), although we may wish it would just go away so life could go back to normal, the nasty coronavirus don’t care. Consumers hooked on the safety and convenience of online shopping are most likely going to stay addicted, even with retail locations opening back up. And even if you go to a brick-and-mortar store, the idea of slowly wandering the aisles and spending hours trying to find the perfect item sounds like a nostalgic fairytale from a past century.

We at Levitskie Creative always try to look for the positive in every situation and when life hands you a bag of coronavirus lemons, it’s time to pull out the recipes for COVID brand-aid! Here’s a look at some of the best ideas and trends we’ve recently come across in the industry:

Check in with your customers – I’ll admit this one may seem pretty obvious and I’ve heard it in a few different contexts but I was reminded of the wonderful Victor Hugo quote, “Nothing is more powerful than an idea whose time has come,” in a blog post by speech coach and speaker, Mimi Donaldson of MimiSpeaks! Walmart put this idea in action by being the first big box store to give their employees a much needed day off after realizing that Black Friday and Thanksgiving Eve shopping was just not going to happen this year and they might as well turn it into a PR win, instead. Another version of this for food brands is to really listen to their grocery store buyers, instead of trying to sell them their tried and true offerings. Ask questions like “What does the market need? What should I be doing? How do we help make sure you are maximizing your opportunities as the retailer?” What your customer needs right now, might not be what you are currently offering, but it might be in your wheelhouse. The key is being as flexible as possible.

Refocus on your mission – In the better-for-you food category, you’re already dedicated to bringing the most nutritious products to market and these days everyone is keenly focused on health and wellness. E-commerce keyword searches for “immunity” and “sleep support” are up along with “anxiety” and “depression.” Do your products contain ingredients such as elderberry, chamomile or Vitamin C? Now would be a good time to add those claims to the front of your pack. Another factor in spurring purchase intent is a brand’s dedication to sustainability. Interestingly, a large part of consumer awareness of sustainability includes how a company treats its employees. What have you been doing in the face of COVID-19 and how have you been taking care of the safety and wellness of your crew and surrounding community? Now would be a great time to reconnect and make sure your pack information communicates that story.

E-commerce is here to stay – A recent report from online shoppable recipe platform, Chicory, shows that although online grocery shopping has dropped a bit, it is still 12% higher than before the pandemic. New habits have been formed and the consumers who have become hooked on the convenience are going to keep purchasing online. And many brands are reporting that retailers are just not interested in new products right now – many are so focused in restocking their shelves with the basics, taking a risk on new products just doesn’t make sense to them. The good news is smaller, better-for-you manufacturers can take advantage of emerging online strategies to reach new customers. Many are trying direct-to-consumer programs, or getting their products included on new retail sites dedicated to helping better-for-you products reach new audiences such as Bubble or Snack Magic.

Now the question to ask yourself is, how does your packaging design stand up in light of these new challenges? When you view an image of it in Google search results, your product page, and on a mobile device, can you read your brandmark? Is the flavor or formula information legible? Are the graphic elements and devices that tell your brand story easy to make out? Does the image tell your story, or is it saying something completely different? If the answer to any of these questions is no, or you are not sure, you may have wasted some serious time and money on a design that isn’t working for you.

Unlike the aforementioned coronavirus and honey badger, we care and are here to help. If your design isn’t working as well as it should, or you are thinking of launching a new product, our simple step-by-step process will identify or clarify your brand story, create a graphic system that clearly communicates it, and will increase sales by getting the attention of the people you want to buy and try your products. Schedule a free, 30-minute introductory call and get started navigating the new normal, NOW.

Photo by cottonbro from Pexels