Keeping your brand alive

Just like the year 2020 is proving to be, the global recovery from lockdown measures is difficult to accurately predict. How will the coronavirus crisis affect people’s spending power? After weeks of only buying essential items, will consumers emerge with a new set of values? Will future consumers gyrate away from measuring success through the value of having ‘stuff’ and want a simpler life? Or will they think ‘life’s too short’ and live for the moment? If the first day of business after lockdown in Shanghai’s luxury Hermès store – where shoppers spent $2.7m – is anything to go by, businesses are set to be rewarded by pent-up demand.

But how can you keep your brand alive in the meantime?

If you haven’t already done so, now is the time to implement an online retail platform to ensure that you are still able to trade and be visible to clients. And if you already have an online presence, this could be the time to expand your reach and use social media channels such as Twitter, Instagram and IGTV to keep in touch with your customer base and re-inforce your brand values. Businesses such as Barry’s Gym have embraced this approach: the company now holds daily workouts on its Instagram page in an effort to keep clients engaged and loyal while studios are closed.

Be flexible and think of ways of diversifying your brand or product range to make your business relevant today. In the midst of the global pandemic LVMH announced that it was re-tooling its production lines at Parfum Christian Dior, Guerlain and Parfums Givenchy to make hand sanitisers, while the ateliers switched to making millions of surgical masks. Generating positive brand values such as empathy and having a social conscious during difficult times will serve you well when business returns to normal.

This may be the time to review and restructure your business and find ways to make your Intellectual Property (IP) work harder for you through licencing or franchising. IP can be sold, franchised or licensed in order to raise revenue. Franchising or licensing your IP to third parties can also help further develop the reach of your business to new consumers. If your brand is not currently active in a specific country you may wish to give consideration to licensing your brand to third parties who have the financial means to promote and progress your brand in that territory in return for a royalty fee.

These are difficult and uncertain times for everyone but whatever the current circumstances of your business; your IP remains a valuable asset which, with the right protection, marketing and exploitation, can help you ride this wave until we can all resume some level of normality, and beyond.

Should you have any questions or wish to discuss the contents of this article further, please do not hesitate to contact the authors, Lisa King and Hanna Tiyamiyu, or your usual trade mark attorney.