The current generation of SMEs have never experienced a catastrophe quite like the Coronavirus pandemic. In fact, many small firms closed shop as the lockdown period took its toll at the height of COVID. The disruption to trading caused by COVID was detrimental and is still being felt today.
As nations enter a recession too, small firms need as much help as possible to ensure they survive the fallout. Enter The Future Strategy Club (FSC), a new type of consultancy agency of over 250 of the UK's most experienced c-level consultants and leading creative talent, dedicated to helping firms of all sizes weather the COVID storm and its aftermath.
FSC gathered top strategic thinkers and businesses brains to compile a Business Survival Guide, filled with tips and advice from the best in business to help firms navigate through uncertainty. Among the members to contribute to this Survival Guide was The FSC Advisor Bernie Morrison.
Bernie's background includes the position of Strategy Director at Fitch - a globally leading brand consultancy firm. In the UK, the pandemic tossed business owners into perhaps the most complex time ever as they sought to get their businesses back on track.
Branding is as important to small businesses as big firms
In an interview with her, Bernie Morrison shared how firms can get back on their feet in the wake of the pandemic and its aftermath:
"Yes, absolutely. But very much in a different way to the big firms. Small firms have an opportunity to get ahead of the pack in terms of what their brand means and stands for in a way that the big businesses can be quite unable to with the necessary speed and agility.
It’s becoming more and more important, that ability to be able to adapt to what’s in front of you, to respond to how consumers are changing their behavior fast enough to keep up. It is incredibly important to define what they stand for in order to make that connection with people."
Reasons storytelling is key for small businesses, according to the experts
Telling your brand story in a relatable way is vital for both small and big business – but only if it’s true. The biggest problem that a lot of brands are going to face moving forward is transparency.
Consumers now are more forensic than ever and far more interested in whether or not brands are as transparent as they say they are - and customers are not afraid to call a brand out if they are not.
Bernie Morrison adds:
"Gone are the days where people are sitting back passively accepting what advertising says to be true. It needs to really be true. It has to be meaningful because, if it's not, then why is anybody going to pay attention? After the pandemic, I think as consumers we’re all looking for more meaning in the world.
Finally, people are actually going to want to develop brand purposes that they can act upon in the world. And I think those will become more realistic and encourage more engagement with local communities."