You’ve heard of virtual hugs. What about shadow hugs?

I won’t be demonstrating shadow hugs on Tuesday’s free Jumpstart Your Business Operations webinar. I will discuss, though, how shadow hugs are a simple example of an important concept right now: reevaluating your brand promise and innovating new experiences for your audiences to ensure your brand is positioned to still succeed in a pandemic-shaped world.

By the way, you are invited to register and participate in both this Tuesday’s webinar (on quickly re-imagining your business & growth strategy) and the companion webinar on Tuesday, June 30 (covering ways to attract innovative ideas to pivot & restart). The webinar series is sponsored by California State Treasurer Fiona Ma, CPA.
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Re-imagining your brand experience after Covid-19

No matter what your brand promise has been, audience expectations changed after Covid-19. That forces re-evaluating your brand promise. Consider how health, wellness, and safety now impact customer expectations for your brand. Even if these three attributes were never significant for your brand before, they are now. That means two things:

  • An important brand promise factor (customer expectations) is different
  • The change in expectations will ripple through to the experience you can deliver

Coupled with other outside impacts on your brand experience (government restrictions, changing social norms, etc.), you need to make innovative adjustments to deliver a comparable or better brand experience than you were delivering previously. .

While the challenge of re-imagining your brand experience within outside constraints seems daunting, it’s not beyond any entrepreneur or businessperson to tackle it creatively and successfully.

Why do I say that? Because even little kids can figure it out. Take a shadow hug. It's a great example of innovating experiences amid health-related constraints.

Dr. Andrew Amaranto is a front-line healthcare worker. In a Prevention article about the realities of Covid-19 and healthcare, he mentioned how his son invented shadow hugs since he couldn’t be in physical contact with his father. As Dr. Amaranto described them, "we stand just so that the streetlights hit us and our shadows. When the streetlights hit us just right, we get our shadows to hug and give high-fives.”

Dr. Amaranto’s son, in figuring out the shadow hug, embodied adapting an experience to deliver a comparable impact while recognizing health and safety-related limitations. Even though you think of close physical contact as central to a great hug experience, a shadow hug works around that. Despite the limitations of touch a shadow hug incorporates the physical coordination of a typical hub, along with the affection, focus on the other, and deep emotion. The fact that a shadow hug works only when the conditions are exactly right, replaces the standard hug’s physicality with a sense of making every shadow hug a special experience.

Actual hug with all its benefits Photo by Eye for Ebony on Unsplash

And, if a six-year-old can figure out how to innovate a pandemic-shaped experience, you certainly can too!

Register for the webinars before its too late!

Join me for the Jumpstart Your Business Operations webinars. I’ll share actionable ideas that you can use right now. We’ll also have time to adapt and customize the tools in response your questions and specific business needs. – Mike Brown

Jumpstart your business operations webinar series