In this #BehindtheBrandManager feature, we find out more from Justine Cullinan, GM of marketing and brand strategy and communication at the iconic and well-loved South African fast-food chain Nando's.ByRuth Cooper
With sombre news dominating the headlines in South Africa and across the globe, it is easy to retract into the shadows, watching and waiting.
Lizelle McDermott, managing director of McD Squared
According to Lizelle McDermott, managing director of McD Squared, companies should be focusing on preparing for when the market turns.
“It is easy to languish about the fact that the country has been hit by very trying economic conditions, a lockdown and that the market is filled with doom and gloom,” she says.
“Yes, the future is uncertain and we don’t know what the market is going to look like post-Covid-19, but companies should use this as an opportunity to determine how they are going to differentiate themselves once this crisis is over.”
Change is never easy, particularly when it is a forced change that is beyond your control. What makes the difference, however, is how you embrace that forced change and challenge yourself to adapt to it to drive new business opportunities.
“We embraced the ‘gig economy’ concept and a complete virtual agency business model seven years ago, which has made this current situation far easier to deal with for us. Unfortunately, this does not apply to every type of business. So, now is the time to determine where you can embrace remote working policies, using technology more effectively as a sales tool and improve operational efficiencies by doing things differently,” says McDermott.
It’s about re-thinking traditional models – a concept that has been bandied about for several years now.
“Yes, we will get through this tough time and yes, we will be able to follow more traditional working routines again in the future. But is that where and how you want to position your business? Is this not the time to re-assess your business models to ensure that you have business continuity despite the curve-balls market conditions and pandemics could throw your way?” she asks.
McDermott adds that while many organisations have opted to go into stealth mode during this trying time purely trying to survive, this could be counter-productive once a sense of normality returns.
“Now is the time to communicate and tell your clients how you can help them in their businesses,” she concludes.
“It’s about positioning yourself as a progressive organisation that can weather the storm and is equipped to help your clients do the same. It is about embracing new ways of delivering superior results, embracing things like technology to do things differently. Now is the time to think about what new elements you can introduce into your product, service or solution offering that can add further value to your clients.
Now is the time to showcase your capabilities, to ensure that once the market turns, existing and potential clients know exactly what value you can bring to their organisations and how you can assist them on their paths to recovery and growth.”
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