A column written for CityX by Sophie Karaer. Sophie is the Founder of SOKA, a graphic design and website development agency, specialising in the creation of beautiful and effective brands, websites and promotional content.
The impact of Covid-19 will be immediately apparent to anybody walking along Lincoln’s famous high street right now. Bars, cafes, and shops have all been forced to close their doors at this time of national crisis. It’s life; but not as we’ve known it. Still there is still plenty of room for hope and optimism; with many businesses continuing to run and show great flexibility.
As the owner of the SOKA design agency I’ve been touched and impressed by the togetherness and resilience of the Lincolnshire business community. Many of our clients have made the adjustment to remote working; providing essential services and support to people across the local area.
Tough decisions have been made; with budgets being cut and staff either furloughed or laid off. However, there is a strong sense of spirit as business owners realise the need to remain active. I’m convinced that this crisis will lead to a digital transformation, with those brands that show agility, creativity, and focus standing the best chance of success.
There’s no doubt in my mind that the world will be different when we emerge from the pandemic. Now is the time to think about how you want your company to be seen. I’m reminded of the two symbols within the Chinese spelling of crisis, 风波. The first of these symbols represents danger, while the other stands for opportunity.
Working Through The Uncertainty
I’ve been really happy with the continued commitment of the SOKA design team. We have continued to work across a range of client projects since the onset of the crisis. A full set of branding and promotional materials have been developed for a hygiene technology company. An informative Covid-19 infographic has been produced for an international legal services agency. And a new logo has been created for a luxury Yorkshire wedding venue. I’m sure that the hard work will pay off with increased demand for products and services on recovery.
It is my firm belief that those businesses acting with strength and consistency will stand the best chance of survival at this most challenging of times. The temptation might be to close shop and disconnect in the face of uncertainty. However, it’s important to keep in touch and show support for everybody who comes into contact with your business.
There is a fine balance to be struck between the exploitation and positive engagement of those who have been hit by Covid-19. I am encouraging my business contacts to focus on short, medium, and long term responses; taking the opportunity to connect with customers across preferred channels, including mobile and social media.
Here are a few of the low-cost marketing activities that I’m recommending:
• Focus on the production of digital content, including social media graphics, website updates, and downloadable documents
• Stay connected with the full range of business associates, including suppliers and other key stakeholders
• Explore the opportunities for remote working and eCommerce in particular
• Engage with the local community, volunteering and providing free support where possible.
Count on SOKA
You can be sure that the award-winning SOKA team are remaining positive and confident of weathering the storm. We have just introduced our animation services; ideal for those businesses keen to stand out and connect. Aware of tightening business budgets; we are also offering free website design reviews and 12 month payment plans. We will be continuing to produce logo designs, promotional graphics, website designs, and written communications for local and national businesses.
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