Small business and sensitivity: Why it’s important to keep promoting your products right now
A couple of weeks ago, we asked our Top Drawer audience what subjects they’d like to hear about over coming months, to help keep their business looking ahead. What was clear in the replies was a continued need to promote products, but also an intense fear of appearing insensitive or insincere during a time that is difficult for most by pushing products that were deemed unessential.
This dread that fighting to keep your brand alive could be interpreted as indifference really struck a chord with me. You see, whilst I work in PR for lifestyle events, my partner works in medicine. Largely home-based even before this, our dining room table has long played desk to us both; facilitating patient care best-practice at one end of it and a library of trend insight at the other.
This visual representation of our respective careers—worlds apart, but separated by no more than a piece of wood—has been the foundation of many a joke between us, but has also acted as a timely reminder that, whilst not essential in the immediate sense, our lifestyle industry also has an important role to play right now.
So, if you’re one of those small businesses still trying to sell but concerned about sensitivity during this difficult time, these are my 3 little reminders for you:
1. What you do does matter
One person’s embodiment of frivolity could be another’s much-needed escape. From overstrained key workers to multi-tasking parents and lonely individuals living alone, every single person is experiencing difficulty of varying levels right now. For the same reason sales of lipstick soared following the Great Depression, remember that your candle, artisan tea, fun-patterned pair of socks or meaningful greetings card could be the very thing to bring a sense of calm and joy to someone who really needs it right now.
2. Business is changing
No one expects things to be business as usual right now, and your audience will completely understand if things are continually changing, so long as you communicate honestly and openly throughout. If it’s unsafe for you to deliver your products at the moment, can you offer gift vouchers to be redeemed at a later date..? If your products are being sent as gifts, could you hand-write your customer’s note for them to save them from having to receive then deliver the item somewhere else..? Yes, these times are tough, but there has also been no better time for experimentation and thinking outside the box.
3. Silence is deafening
Whilst the light at the end of the tunnel may feel miles away, it is coming. When the time comes, those who rode the wave as best they could will be the ones transitioning back towards normality with the most ease. Whilst it might feel like the right thing to do in the short-term, the worst thing you could do right now would be to disengage your audience by disappearing from their consciousness all together. Even if you’re not able to fully promote your products right now, use social media to give them unique insight into the brand and share your expertise. If you’re new to social streaming, be sure to take a look at our inside expert’s top tips for where to start.