Why we must look to the past in order to define our future

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has undoubtedly created a new reality to be reckoned with. Consisting of strict social distancing measures and compulsory store closures, this new era of safety has dealt a significant blow to many sectors. Read more: Why we must look to the past in order to define our future

Why we must look to the past in order to define our future

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has undoubtedly created a new reality to be reckoned with. Consisting of strict social distancing measures and compulsory store closures, this new era of safety has dealt a significant blow to many sectors.

However, whilst there is undeniably a tough journey ahead for many organisations, there is also a light at the end of tunnel for those willing to adapt. In times of uncertainty and economic struggle, we must look to the past in order to define the future and work together to combat our struggles.

Jason Fagan, Marketing Manager at Kooomo explains “This is the approach adopted by many of our Italian customers here at Kooomo. To gain insight into how COVID-19 was affecting our clients, we sat them to down to discuss how they are handling this emergency and what the future of their companies may look like. The collective consensus drawn from this appeared to be one of collaboration. Every employee, and virtually the entire ‘Made in Italy’ supply chain, seemed united by the same ambition – making people and business alike feel connected amidst this crisis, despite historic, cultural and geographical differences.”

This is definitely the case for Alessio Berdini – eCommerce Manager of Fabi Shoes and international witness of ‘Made in Italy’, who has been creating footwear for men and women since 1956. Alessio shares his experiences of the current pandemic and what Fabi Shoes is doing to help combat this crisis:

“The current health crisis has hit us at a delicate time. Obviously, there is no great time for such dramatic events to occur. However, on a business level, it arrived just as we were presenting the new collection, both online and in-store. Suddenly, as our Italian partner stores were forced to close, we found ourselves unable to sell goods, with further uncertainty as to when the stores might re-open. The same happened with our shop in the Marche district. The plant is now closed, meaning production has stopped and the season is at risk of disappearing.

“It is fair to say Fabi Shoes has not had an easy time during the pandemic, even on the eCommerce side”, continues Alessio Berdini. ““Ever since the crisis hit Italy, we have encountered numerous difficulties. The product we offer is not essential, but rather is linked to specific occasions, particularly celebrations and ceremony. The health emergency, followed by store closures and economic concerns, hindered us even further.

“As a result, we clung to branding communications, discussing the origins and identity of the brand in an attempt to feel closer to customers. These empathic communications had exceptional results, helping us to keep the business on good numbers. I am also pleased to report that Fabi Shoes is doing everything it can to support its home territory during these turbulent times, converting a branch of the company to help produce medical masks for local bodies, hospitals, rescuers and civil protection.”

Certainly, at this moment, there is no future certainty to rely on. The lesson that Fabi Shoes is teaching us is that in order to survive, one must look to the past – to the origins of retail and to the timeless value of “less is more”.

In line with this way of thinking, Fabi launched its new Flex Goodyear footwear line, combining its traditional craftsmanship with the Flex Goodyear patent. With this patent, Fabi has innovated the historical English processing technique, creating footwear with the idea of pro-longed re-use with timeless style and elegance.

Allessio Berdini concludes: “When the lockdown is over and the high-street reopens, I hope for a significant rebound for Fabi Shoes. During this time, we have focused on projects of recovery and reinvention, and aim to be ready for any scenario when all of this is over. We expect strong competition from many competitors, so is important that we stay flexible, creative and ready for the times ahead.”

Jason Fagan adds, “Fabi Shoes is undoubtedly preparing for a period of great transformation – calling upon a society once hungry for consumerism to embrace traditional concepts such as ‘less is more’. It is time to rediscover, unite and share the Italian experience with the world, and here at Kooomo we could not be prouder of the work our clients are doing.”

Read more:
Why we must look to the past in order to define our future

Source : Business Matters More   

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How to keep your customers engaged during lockdown

The phrase ‘unprecedented times’ has been bandied around almost constantly since we began the lockdown period, but it hasn’t lost its meaning. Read more: How to keep your customers engaged during lockdown

How to keep your customers engaged during lockdown

The phrase ‘unprecedented times’ has been bandied around almost constantly since we began the lockdown period, but it hasn’t lost its meaning.

Whilst only essential workers are leaving their homes, and the majority of the workforce has either been furloughed or are now working remotely, businesses have taken a huge hit – in every direction imaginable.

There has, however, been a noticeable increase in the awareness and support by consumers for small businesses during this pandemic. As a new ‘normal’ is established, its key for business owners to keep in touch with their audiences in a relatable and relevant way. Whilst the likelihood is, this may not mean ‘selling’ their brand, its important to try to remain connected, and even just to check in with their community. Here, Opus Energy, the renewable energy supplier to small and medium businesses, has shared a few tips on how to keep your audience engaged during this pandemic.

Embrace your social audience

For the majority of people, one of the few constants that is successfully bridging the gap between our lives before the lockdown and now, is social media. As we stay in touch with our friends, search for advice and keep entertained, social media users are engaging more than ever, meaning there has never been a better time to explore or audit your social media channels.

Consider using this time to work out what your audience is looking for and what they’re sharing. Is there a way you can get involved in a genuine and authentic way or can you offer advice or tips? It’s vital any content you share is relatable and tonally relevant to the current situation, so make sure you’re not just pushing your product, especially if you know it won’t be front of mind. Some options include offering competitions or sharing sector specific advice.

For example, if you run a gardening business, share short and snappy ‘how to’ videos that resonate with your audience who are likely looking to make the most of the sun hitting their gardens, may hit the mark. Alternatively, if you’re a hairdresser, consider home hair dressing tips for those struggling with their hair maintenance.

Also, look to make the most of social platforms; try experimenting with stories, ads, different styles of content, different social channels or even influencers. Find out what works for your business and what creates the most engagement. This will ensure that your brand is still in the mind of the consumer, even if you are not running BAU.

Discover your local community

During this pandemic, business owners are finding that many traditional forms of communicating with their audiences, such as direct mail or flyers, are suddenly out of reach. But there are viable alternatives, as people are looking to connect with their local area now more than ever. Consider joining regional Facebook groups and looking at other businesses that are in the area. Are there any you can partner with to increase your offering and potentially increase your audience? Is there a way you can support the local area, either through your business or personally? Ensuring you maximise the local community support that is on offer, is increasingly important at the moment.

Adapt your strategy

If your product or business has become even more relevant during the pandemic, look at how you can expand your communications to ensure both your potential and existing audience are aware of what you can offer. If you’re struggling due to the restrictions in place, consider the possibilities of pivoting your strategy slightly. For example, if your business is usually focused on a physical service, why not look to see if you can take it digital? If you can, set up an online store and start delivering your products, ensuring you are following all of the social distancing guidelines, and your employees are taking all necessary precautions to be as safe as possible. Though this might involve some financial investment up front, it could work to ensure there is still cash flow and that you can recover post-pandemic. If your business is niche but in demand, this could be a great opportunity to offer a service that might not be available elsewhere.

Look to the future

Its vital to keep in mind that this will end and though there are no definite timelines just yet, it is possible to look at what you need to do when the restrictions lift. There are still ways to intrigue your audience with future offers, so you could consider suggesting vouchers, recommend future bookings and if you can manage it offer ‘buy now pay later’ schemes to customers who may have been furloughed or have smaller incomes than usual.

Whilst these tips should help towards ensuring your audience stay engaged and could also see your business reach a wider audience, its crucial to keep in mind that you are communicating the right messages, at the right time to the right people. Keep the current situation at the forefront of your mind, and work hard to not appear tone deaf, as consumers will run in the opposite direction if they feel as if a business, no matter the size, is either missing the mark, or putting themselves before their staff or the public.

Read more:
How to keep your customers engaged during lockdown

Source : Business Matters More   

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