Kubi Springer: how to build a brand in a crisis

Kubi Springer Marie Claire Chappet
·4-min read
Photo credit: Getty Images
Photo credit: Getty Images

From Harper's BAZAAR

Now may not seem like the best time to start a business. After all, while we have not yet reached the depressing heights of the 2008 financial crisis, the statistics still seem fairly bleak, with a recession in full swing, companies shuttering and high UK unemployment levels.

These facts are undeniably daunting, but there is a brighter outlook to be found. Women, globally, are stepping up. For example, there were a record number of 84,758 companies created in 2020 in the UK and, from 22,257 of the new businesses surveyed, approximately 7,205 were launched by female entrepreneurs.

There was a total of 252 million female entrepreneurs around the world last year. Women are clearly on a mission to find new ways to make money and navigate this crisis and we can take great inspiration from that. In fact, according to Small Business Trends, 10% of healthcare startups are owned by and/or founded by women and the success rate of crowdfunding for women in 2020 stands at 69.5%, as opposed to 61.4% for men.

All this begs the question; how can you build a brand during a global pandemic? What are these women doing to navigate the storm and what can you do to commercialise your talents, gifts, and abilities during a crisis?

Photo credit: Courtesy.
Photo credit: Courtesy.

Here are my five tips to help you on the way:

Prioritise relationships over networking

Now more than ever you need to focus on developing key relationships, not just networking to build contacts. These relationships need to be nurtured and fostered to help open doors and present new opportunities for you. Whether that be old colleagues, current membership buddies, or followers on social media, now is the time to reach out and cultivate working relationships. Start off by having a target list of people you want to connect/re-connect with and aim to speak to at least one person per week. Remember the principle that ‘givers-gain’, so be sure to offer value before you ask for help.

Seek new markets

With so many changes, it’s important to stay abreast with what is happening in your industry and seek new ‘hungry markets’ (a market where there is less competition and higher demand for your product or services.) On the contrary, a ‘saturated market’ is often what people find themselves in and wonder why they are not selling. Often it is not the price, product, or ability of the individual brand that leads to a lack of success, but rather the mere depth of the competition. New markets to consider therefore, might include South East Asia, Africa, and Latin America, who are seeing growth areas across industries.

Recognise the value in digital components

While you might hate the idea of live social media videos, a 2020 survey noted these provide marketers and brand builders with an 80% ROI (return-on-investment). It's because people are seeking human connection, and these live videos allow them to feel more connected than pre-recorded videos. The key to making them work is to be clear on the structure, mission and added values presented in the Lives.

Explore Clubhouse

The latest social media app that is helping individuals build their brands is Clubhouse. The brand-new audio drop-in app has a ray of celebrities and business influencers including Oprah, Sophie Amoruso and Les Brown. A perfect opportunity to connect and build solid connections from around the world, Clubhouse is ideal for those who don’t want to be on video or hate the idea of constantly having to dress up for a Instagram Live.

Involve yourself in a business-led community

One of the most impactful ways to build your brand during a crisis is to find and become part of an online community of fellow budding-entrepreneurs. This could be via BusinessClass.com or through other female led online communities that provide accountability, new learning and endless business opportunities. As I often say, the journey is hard, but it should never be lonely so connect with like-minded people and together weather the storm.

Kubi Springer is a branding expert and the founder of shebuildsbrands.com.

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