Reflecting: a year on from Lockdown

Today marks exactly one year since the beginning of national lockdown which brought everyday life to a standstill in the UK on 23 March 2020. For many people it was the first opportunity to be able to work from home and for thousands of businesses, they were sadly forced to temporarily close or rapidly change their business model. Events were cancelled. Offices and schools were shut. At the height of Lockdown London felt like a ghost town. It was all quite scary going into the great unknown.

As we mark this milestone and of course remember those that have sadly been lost to this terrible virus, it’s also worth reflecting on how lives have changed and what businesses have been through.

Survival mode

Looking back from a communications perspective, the first lockdown was very much crisis mode. Everyone was in unchartered waters and we learnt a lot of lessons throughout 2020. In retrospect the flexibility of our model, which could adapt quickly and deliver immediately, has been a small way of making a big difference to all our clients during this challenging time.

As we waved goodbye to 2020, people were looking ahead – and to moving forward. Lockdown three is the one we didn’t think we would ever have, but we are where we are. For many the beginning of 2021 has centred around home working, home schooling, home cooking and home zooming all under one roof. A year on few could imagine to still be working from their kitchen table. Web sites still continue to carry remote working or closed messages, and banks still close at 2pm.

The power of brand

The pandemic has been an opportunity to try and engage with customers in new, more helpful ways. Advertising and communications throughout the COVID pandemic have been about security, reassurance and positivity.

At BrandBrown we saw a huge increase in electronic client communication output and the digital profile is in some cases now the biggest brand touch point for many businesses. On reflection the pandemic provided a tremendous opportunity to ensure businesses digital communications were fit for purpose – including regular emails, newsletters and social media engagement. During the last year a web site has largely been a company’s shop window, and client newsletters and social media activity has arguably provided the most brand awareness – keeping all businesses (including those that were forced to close such as shops and restaurants) connected with customers and prospects.

Going forward, expectations will be very different

Pre-pandemic, like many other businesses, BrandBrown was very much a face-to-face consultancy. In the short term, working practices are unlikely to immediately go back to where they were pre-pandemic – with a ‘work from anywhere’ culture being created within many businesses. Surveys suggest the idea of striking a balance between office and home working is one that seems to appeal highly to workers once things return to some form of normality, but when that will be, remains to be seen. One thing’s for sure however, and to us provides reassurance for the retail and hospitality sectors, that people are feeling more frustrated, more isolated, impacted now more than ever. We know of nobody who is not looking forward to getting back out to some form of normal. And that’s good for business.

Adapting to change

It’s been a tricky time for all but from the very beginning of the pandemic BrandBrown have been very quick to react to current events, providing a rapid turnaround on all aspects of communications to support clients. 

“Brand Brown has been the most amazing value-add to our business! When speaking to product suppliers or clients, I always refer to / describe Rob as ‘let me speak to our marketing department’. Simple as that! Rob’s attention to detail, his after hours availability, his subject specific input, is amazing!”

Jonathan Kelly, Director, PK Partnership

Introducing our digital communications design service

Bringing creative design much closer to content

As digital communication becomes commonplace, transforming a client’s product offering into effective and striking visual communications is becoming ever more popular. Exceptional design can create greater awareness and engagement for even the most complex of messages.

Below is a powerful design recently produced for Yutree Underwriting – simplified for email, social media and web purposes.

“Rob at Brand Brown has helped our business to communicate the ever changing advice required through COVID-19 to our brokers and customers. He has brought creativity and flair to what we needed to say throughout. Highly recommended.”

Laura High, Director, Yutree Insurance Ltd

It has never been more important for businesses to find ways to convey complex messages that in days gone by would be text heavy. Our design services are open to all businesses and if you would like to discuss a potential project please do get in touch.

Light at the end of the tunnel

It goes without saying that we’re in very different times to a year ago. The way people work is changing but it’s very much business as usual. As we’ve done for the past 12 months, we’ll continue to adapt – putting the client at the heart of everything we do.

The value of flexibility

As a result of changes to the way businesses operate, we are quicker to react and adapt to our clients needs. Activity and delivery are our primary drivers. Thank you once again to all of our clients for your continued support, which has enabled us to showcase the flexibility of our model as a genuine alternative to other businesses looking for managed marketing, communications and design support.

The benefits of our integrated marketing model highlight the need for speed, adaptability and reliability – combined with good value. On reflection the pandemic period has in many ways improved our business and enabled us to demonstrate our flexibility and ability to respond quickly for clients – the core USP behind our service proposition.

We’re pleased to say we’re working on some really interesting projects at the moment with a major rebrand exercise underway in the insurance sector and the launch of new opening.

The planned roadmap out of Lockdown and reopening of shops & hospitality from 12 April are a great step in the right direction. Though no one can predict the future, as we step into Spring we’re filled with much more optimism and confidence – looking forward to a brighter future.

As always, we’re here for you. Please do get in touch if we could potentially help to enhance your business with marketing communications and design support. Call us today on 020 3675 2424 for a confidential discussion.