3 Free Ways to Maintain Brand Authenticity and Increase Revenue Uncertainty is a certainty for all of us right now, but we can sustain brand authenticity and consistency by seeking out customer feedback.

By Sumit Aneja

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

If one thing is certain for businesses during COVID-19, it's that little else is. Many businesses still have no guarantees about their supply chains, for example, and the pandemic has created a dramatic shift in what customers want and prioritize. So leaders understandably are wondering about the authenticity of their brands and how to maintain some consistency. It is possible to keep your brand voice clear, but it requires you to tap the relationship you have with your customers on a regular basis.

Tool 1: Feedback

By far the best tool at your disposal for maintaining brand authenticity now and for the future is to collect feedback from your buyers. This has always been important because biases can create gaps between what you think customers want and what they actually want. It's more critical through these troubled times, however, because what customers think and prefer is changing so rapidly.

So whether you use a survey platform, do face-to-face inquiry or other tools, go talk to people. Yes, give them options and ask which ones they prefer. But then go deeper. Ask them what they're feeling, how you can help, and what their top concerns are.

Related: Why 2021 Should Be the Year Challenger Brands Embrace Trust

Tool 2: Education for informed choice

In return for their feedback, offer customers information of your own. Educate them about whether solutions work for your business and align with your values, for instance, or point them in the direction of good sources on topics like vaccination. As information changes or new sources become available, let customers know as early as you can so they have time to think about everything you share. Whatever you share, just use the style and platforms your customers already know and expect from you.

Related: 3 Ways to Use Authenticity to Build Customer Loyalty

Tool 3: Blending new demands/options with your original voice

Based on the feedback you get from your customers, you might find that people want something that's very different than what you've done in the past. Don't let this scare you. It's OK for brands to let customers be brand drivers and initiate shifts, so long as it means you end up serving them better. Trust in your ability to evolve and see it as an opportunity.

As an example of successful customer-led adaptation, take a look at restaurants and hotels. Traditionally, both these industries have been more analog and relied on face-to-face engagement. But by listening to their customers, many facilities were able to provide new options, such as online booking or ordering and digital pay.

You might not have to go digital as your brand evolves with your customers. But if customers are more comfortable in that space, or if you're in a situation like the COVID-19 pandemic that simply doesn't allow you to work in the same way you did before, then digital transformation can create new, different touchpoints that enable you to engage more frequently and deeply than before. Your digital space can still look and feel similar to the physical space your customers are used to so that the sense of relationship and values continues.

Making the system work

Our company provides a good example of how all of these strategies can come together for brand consistency. We have been mainly an in-person business for 45 years. But when COVID-19 hit, our team had to start working from home. We sent out some simple surveys to find out what our workers needed. Through that, we discovered that some potentially "big" issues weren't as huge as we thought they'd be. It was easy, for example, to let workers check out a monitor or other equipment. Because our team had those basics and could work at a full capacity, they were able to keep our brand image going for customers. And once we had those main issues sorted out, we were able to reevaluate and see more clearly where we stood and what else we needed to do.

In your own business, the key is to use your ongoing conversations along with iteration. Your first step, for instance, might be just to see how customers generally feel about a change you want to make. The next might be to get some feedback on some specific options you're looking at. Move quickly, but don't make decisions all of a sudden based only on your gut.

Related: To Build a Powerful Brand, Begin on the Inside and Move Out

Your story can survive, no matter where your buyers take you

Society is never static. The conundrum of brand consistency isn't a new one. Many of the strategies that always have worked, such as talking to your customers, remain viable even in times of crisis. By being vulnerable and open-minded about your touchpoints and platforms, you can face your buyers' new reality and evolve without completely sacrificing the history and story of your company. Do this in small, collaborative steps and you can transition to an incredibly bright future.

Wavy Line
Sumit Aneja

Chief Executive Officer of Voxco

Sumit Aneja is the CEO of Voxco, an omnichannel software survey platform and a global market leader in the multi-modal survey software sector.

Editor's Pick

A Father Decided to Change When He Was in Prison on His Son's Birthday. Now His Nonprofit Helps Formerly Incarcerated Applicants Land 6-Figure Jobs.
A Teen Turned His Roblox Side Hustle Into a Multimillion-Dollar Company — Now He's Working With Karlie Kloss and Elton John
3 Mundane Tasks You Should Automate to Save Your Brain for the Big Stuff
The Next Time Someone Intimidates You, Here's What You Should Do
5 Ways to Manage Your Mental Health and Regulate Your Nervous System for Sustainable Success

Related Topics

Business News

'I've Got the Bug for Business': See All of Mark Wahlberg's Entrepreneurial Endeavors, From Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch to Wahlburgers

Mark Wahlberg owns businesses in several categories, including entertainment production, apparel, fitness, and nutrition.

Business News

South Park Creators Spent 'Infinity Dollars' Renovating Iconic Colorado Restaurant, Set to Reopen Soon

Casa Bonita, a long-time favorite of South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone, went bankrupt during the pandemic. The duo purchased and painstakingly renovated the Mexican spot "like a piece of art," Stone said.

Business News

'I Am Just Floored': Woman Discovers She Won $1 Million Lottery Prize While Checking Her Email at Work

Initially, she thought the email was a scam, but went to lottery headquarters and walked away with a six-figure check after taxes.


How Public Relations Builds Trust and Credibility for Your Startup

Learn how PR strategies like media connections, brand storytelling and customer relationship management can promote and maintain a thriving business

Business News

'Babies Will Continue to Be At Risk of Death': Meta Slammed For Selling Recalled Baby Sleepers on Facebook Marketplace

The Boppy Newborn Loungers were recalled in September 2021 but are popping up for purchase on Facebook.


I Failed as a Stand-up Comic. Here's How It Made Me a Better Entrepreneur.

Here's what I learned from a failed career in stand-up comedy.