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How Transparency Can Redefine Your Brand During The COVID-19 Crisis & Beyond

May 19, 2020by Taylor Dodson3

As all of us continue to navigate a crisis unlike any other, there’s no doubt that small business owners have been thinking through what it will look like to reopen their doors over time. Will we be implementing new business practices? Will we be training our staff on new procedures? How can we make our establishments as safe as possible while continuing to bring in enough business to stay afloat?

As these businesses slowly begin to determine answers to these questions and more, consumers are watching closely. Now, possibly more than ever before, it is absolutely crucial to build a relationship with your customer base as many shoppers fear for their safety and the livelihoods of their fellow community members. Being honest about new changes to your company’s workflow, expected adjustments to your shops, and updated policies for your employees as well as your customers is a great way to inspire trust in your audience. Here are three reasons why transparency could redefine your brand in light of the COVID-19 crisis – and beyond.

1. Transparency can make people feel safe, valued, and heard.

A staff member wearing an apron mops the floors at the cafe they work inside.

Many of the questions you may have about implementing new best practices within your establishment will surely echo the concerns of consumers worldwide. In order to inspire trust and build a solid foundation with your audience moving forward, it may be in your best interest to let them know – maybe via storefront signage, a newsletter, social media, or other marketing efforts – what steps your business is taking to ensure a safe environment for all going forward. This communicates that you care for the well-being of your visitors and are committed to doing your part to keep them healthy and happy.

Additionally, if your small business has been providing any services for those in need, such as offering boxed lunches for school children or donating PPE to frontline workers, consider informing your audience of your dedication to your local community, and be sure to let them know if there are any ways for them to contribute to or sponsor these initiatives.

2. Communication helps others understand what services you’re still offering and keeps business flowing.

A person holds up a sign that reads, "We're open for takeaway orders only."

Even if your storefront is closed, you might still technically be open for business. If, for instance, you’re still offering gift cards or takeout options, let your patrons know! This allows others to continue supporting your shop and enjoying your services from home. If consumers are unaware that you’re still up and running in some capacity, that can be harmful to your bottom line as you work to make ends meet while operating on limited resources.

Fortunately, many businesses’ regulars are eager to stay in-the-know when it comes to the status of their favorite spots – this means they also might be likely to spread the word about your business if they know you’re still operating and seeking support. A simple update to your website’s main landing page is a great way to let the world know what you’re up to in these uncertain times.

3. Informing others of your plans can give them something to look forward to.

A person wearing an orange sweater sits on their bed in front of their laptop while holding a book in one hand.

As members of communities all over the world ask themselves how their local economies will recover from such an unforeseen global event, they also wonder when they’ll be able to stop by their favorite venue in town again. While offering gift cards for future use and clearly communicating the status of your business operations can be wonderful ways to bring in ongoing support, these are also ways to get people excited about stepping inside your shop again. Perhaps you had to delay a product launch or have some new recipes you intend to serve once things settle down; communicate this to your audience and get them motivated to pay you a visit in the future. 

Building an open and honest relationship with your customer base is an amazing way to foster meaningful connections with members of your community and open a deeper dialogue between all parties. Consumers will feel as though their voice and their concerns are heard, making them more willing to provide earnest feedback that helps you define your brand moving forward. It also gives them a sense of security – people feel more comfortable in their environment when they can count on those around them.

At ZOOO INC, we’re dedicated to providing incentives to customers who shop small and support their local economies. To be the first to know when our app goes live, pre-register today and get BONUS Sound Points redeemable for free gift cards!

If you’re a small business owner in Nevada, California, or Japan looking to reward your regulars and bring in new customers, pre-register with us to find out how we can help boost your marketing initiatives and increase sales!

Taylor Dodson

Taylor is a creative content strategist originally from the Midwestern U.S. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in English, Film, and Creative Writing from Lawrence University, where she served as a four-year starter on the university softball team and took on four different positions in Campus Life while pursuing her double degree. With a deep love for collaboration, Taylor hopes to apply her background in community engagement to the digital world in support of local businesses. When she’s not at work, you can find her playing Animal Crossing or hanging out at her current favorite tea shop.

3 comments

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