Behavior and Branding in Uncertain Times

Polsky Exchange mentor Kenyata Martin, MBA ’09, last week discussed various ways in which business owners can support their brands and add value during a time of crisis.

“We all want to be around on the other side of this as best we can,” said Martin during Polsky’s Small Business Bootcamp.

“Your brand is being built whether you are actively building your brand or passively building your brand,” he said. “This gives you an opportunity to actively invest energy into building your brand, because brands that consumers can trust through a cycle like now tend to last.”

And consumer trust is waning while the public is starting to lose faith in capitalism, noted Martin. Consequently, brands demonstrating that people come before business will win out in this environment.

His four tips for crafting messages:

  1. Be relevant
  2. Be thoughtful
  3. Create value
  4. Solve a problem

Additionally, from a pure revenue standpoint, Martin said that now more than ever is the time to lean on your current customers and understand who can provide support.

“There is no investment required to speak to your current customer base,” he added. “Figure out ways to protect your demand and revenue stream while providing value to your customer base.”

Martin also suggested taking the time to boost SEO – search engine optimization.

“SEO is probably the best activity you can do right now from an effort investment that doesn’t cost you any money, but a little bit of time,” he said. Develop and implement your business’ keywords, using tools such as Google keyword planner, or get some lost cost help from providers like Fiverr or Upwork.

The Polsky Center’s virtual Small Business Bootcamp was made possible through a partnership with the Rustandy Center for Social Sector Innovation and the Office of Civic Engagement at the University of Chicago, on behalf of a larger coalition of University groups and partners.

// We will be recapping the Bootcamp all week, but all the sessions were recorded and can be found online, here.

Interested in seeking more coaching and support? Apply for the Small Business Circle. Applications are due Thursday, April 28 at 5:00 p.m. CST. Learn more and apply. >>

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