The reality of “reopening” Hawaii is fast approaching. Although many businesses are mentally ready, there are lingering questions about what is the best reopening strategy and what challenges and opportunities will
surface in doing so. In episode 3 of our Executive Series CEO Roundtable we invited respected leaders in retail to discuss how they managed to adopt quick, go-to-market strategies following the governor’s latest announcement on reopening. What we learned was innovative examples of people management and brand connectivity.
Here are a few of our takeaways.
Consumerism has changed because of the pandemic and it will not be business as usual. If you’re a business that services customers or sells products, there needs to be an operational shift and strategy in your reopening plan. Are you physically ready to reopen? Do you have safeguards in place to protect your employees and customers? Here are some best practices in restrategizing your business model for reopening:
Preparing for a shift in consumer behavior is just as important as operational readiness. Hawaii’s high unemployment rate contributes to less discretionary spending. People will shop more on a need versus want basis. Keeping a pulse on spending habits will allow you to assess reopening timelines, staffing needs, and inventory levels. Or, you can create engagement and brand loyalty by launching visible community efforts such
as selling Girl Scout cookies for chapters who have been unable to sell them during the pandemic. You can also offer ways to donate to the local food bank by rounding up change for customers at the registers so they
can give seamlessly when shopping at your establishment.
Seize every opportunity to tell your brand story and differentiate your business. Integrating brand touches in the “new customer experience” may be the advantage you need to achieve sales. Delivering your brand through required safety practices creates connectivity with customers. Perhaps it’s offering a signature scented hand sanitizer for sale or thanking customers via intercom for safe distancing and wearing masks. Neither say “Cold & Covid” and are positive and creative examples of brand differentiation weaved into the customer experience.
Episode 3 of our CEO Roundtable offered a timely perspective on reopening strategies for Hawaii businesses. Though our panelists represented the retail industry, they provided practical strategies for any business looking
to reopen in the coming weeks. Mahalo to these retail industry leaders for a lively discussion on a very popular topic among businesses today. Stay tuned for episode 4 (more details coming soon).