Key Takeaways (5-minute read)
- Supply chains worldwide have been backed up due to COVID-19 and other major events, creating a logjam for many consumer goods and services.
- Broaden your brand’s services into relevant fields to help consumers directly.
- Give your audience a reason to brainstorm ideas that end in them requiring what your brand provides.
- Provide unparalleled customer service always!
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, and now with other world conflicts and uncertainties causing turmoil, it seems the phrase “supply chain” has been trending. Labor shortages and restructuring have changed processes for even some of the largest conglomerates across the globe as manufacturing supplies, packaging, and shipping methods have seen massive bottlenecks. An unsteady supply chain is worrisome at every level of business, but brands can find ways to keep momentum flowing and keep consumers happy as this dilemma is sorted out—and perhaps find even better solutions and revenue generators in the meantime.
Case Study: Hurting at Hertz
A consumer research interview recently conducted by Antonio & Paris revealed one woman’s dissatisfaction with Hertz, one of the leading rental car providers in the world—sometimes the only option for a rental car, depending on location and time of day. “I’ve personally been served an overwhelming amount of ads from Hertz,” our consumer revealed. “I found this upsetting because, when looking for a rental car recently, all of the companies near me were closed both Saturday and Sunday. Why do companies spend millions to promote their services if they can’t provide them? If I was served an ad for a brand and went to them for their services or a product and they couldn’t provide it, I would immediately write them off for years.”
The Issue: Low Inventory
After doing some research to look into the cause of Hertz’s weekend closures, we found that, at the beginning of the quarantine, due to low demand and travel, many rental car companies sold off a significant portion of their inventory. As demand increased a year later, used and new car prices soared, and inventory plummeted due to supply chain delays. This has led most rental companies to have a supply much lower than demand.
The Solution: Broaden Services to Meet Consumer Demands
One solution a brand like Hertz could look into during difficult times such as these when the supply chain is hurting business would be to evolve its services so they no longer rely on the chain. Brands can be innovative by expanding their offerings into adjacent markets in which they are already experts. For example, a rental car company could form a temporary or permanent shuttle or carpool service—why reinvent the wheel, so to speak? The vehicles already owned by the company could be used as transport for visitors from an airport to their hotels or other destinations within a reasonable distance. Because the company already owns a fleet of vehicles, it’s not relying on outside suppliers for inventory and wouldn’t need as many cars as it might during a busy travel season. Forming a boutique shuttle service during times when people are not renting cars or traveling longer distances could add another revenue stream using resources the company already has.
This tactic goes for brands in need of marketing solutions, as well. If you want consumers to choose you for whatever their needs may be that you provide, give them the idea to do so. Start a baking blog that will encourage them to buy the perfect storage and transportation containers for their cookies, brownies, and cupcakes. Then—they’re in luck—you can provide that, too. Content marketing is king in today’s climate, and tools such as blogs, videos, social media, creative, and website content can greatly improve your brand’s reach and ability to connect with consumers who will then find the solution right there within your service base.
Another example is CertaPro, an Antonio & Paris client with a nationwide reach in the US through its franchised home painting service providers. Their site offers advice on related activities such as drywall repair, wallpaper removal, crown molding services, and more. By providing consumers with information on home improvement projects that will eventually lead into the need for interior or exterior painting, CertaPro is keeping its brand top of mind for its target audience.
Of course, you still have to be able to serve your consumers when they come to that conclusion, so be sure to sort out internal systems of communication, customer service, and quality control first when you are expanding to provide a new service or product. Read more about the importance of internal brand connection here.
Everything you do should be in service of your consumer, so it’s paramount to talk to them, give them a clear understanding of any issues or hold ups with your offerings, and be nice! Going the extra mile—rental car pun intended—can make all the difference even if someone is not having a perfect experience with your brand. Being kind and offering a sincere effort to help and alleviate their worries is the best thing you can do to keep your customers on your side even when something goes wrong, because it inevitably will go wrong. That’s life, and your consumers are people who know that life’s not perfect. You can check out a few of our favorite customer service stories here for some tips on how to retain that brand loyalty even when consumers have a problem.
If your brand is struggling to find a way through supply chain issues or low satisfaction levels among consumers, we can help! By keeping your consumers in mind every step of the way with your brand experience, we can grow your customer base and expand revenue streams through creative brand solutions and innovative thinking. Get in touch to speak with a brand futurist at A&P who can connect you with our creative team, expert strategists, digital experience professionals, and, ultimately, your ideal consumer.
A&P, a brand agency, excels in finding innovative ways for clients to provide exceptional experiences to their customers. Their work includes consumer insight, brand innovation, creative development, mobile and technology solutions for global brands such as AT&T, Mini USA, DIRECTV, Newell Rubbermaid, Tenet Healthcare, and Barco Escape. For more information about A&P, visit them on Facebook, Twitter or antonioandparis.com.