Summer is right around the corner, and we think that after the year we’ve had, we all need a nice long summer break. While summer is the busiest season for some companies, and others hibernate, as a small business, it’s a good time to ask yourself if you’re doing everything you can to maximize this season; especially if you have a product or brand that is seasonal in the other direction. If you’re able to take advantage of summer and discover opportunities and promotions you wouldn’t normally do, you’ll be prepared to mitigate the revenue loss you might face during this time of year.
There are a certain number of questions you can ask yourself to make your brand more resilient during off-season:
What is my customer’s relationship with my brand?
Sometimes, a good place to start is to understand what role your brand plays in your customers’ lives. If we were to use candles as an example; sure, arguably the core purpose of a candle is to provide light in the dark; but today, candles serve a much wider purpose. Besides providing light, they emit scents, provide ambiance, tranquility and relaxation; some even argue health benefits to lighting a candle. Imagine if candle makers had stopped producing candles when light bulbs became commonplace!
When, how and why do they use my product?
This ties back to the previous question. If we refer back to our candles, sure they provide light but as we mentioned, there are so many other reasons someone will light a candle. Understanding all the facets of your product and why your customer uses it and in what setting will open up a lot of doors for innovation. Think of fine dining; yes, it provides you a meal which is a basic physiological need, but fine dining is also an experience; and customers pay good money for the experience. While a lot of people can recognize this concept with the more obvious examples, such as fine dining, small business owners often overlook this simple point when it relates to their own brand. As we like to say, they often can’t see the forest for all the trees.
What are some unexpected ways I can extend my brand value?
The follow-up to this is then, when you understand the depth of your customers’ relationships with your brand, how do you seize opportunities to extend the value you offer? Think further about how you can form a deeper relationship with your customer. Perhaps our candle maker offers a subscription based model, or a scent-matching service.
How can I develop new offerings to strengthen and supplement my current portfolio?
Finally, beyond expanding your brand, are the complementary products and opportunities you’re missing out on? Lighters would be an obvious choice for our candle maker. But what else? Well, again, it goes back to how your customer uses the product. If our candle maker produces scented candles for ambiance; perhaps chocolate would be a good complementary product to offer.
The opportunities are really endless; so instead of going into your yearly hibernation, we encourage you to think outside the box!