At the start of COVID-19, small businesses across the nation struggled to attract customers and became susceptible to shutting down.
Camryn Okere, a recent graduate from Washington University witnessed this in her college town of St. Louis and became dedicated to finding a solution that would not only help these businesses stay afloat, but rebrand their social image.
Okere founded Rem and Company, a social impact initiative that offers free consulting services. The company helps small businesses impacted by COVID-19, as well as female and minority-owned businesses to help prepare them for new, successful realities.
Rem and Company focused on establishing an understanding of how to use social media platforms to engage consumers.
“There is a huge gap between the thought processes of each group. The consumers that currently have the most purchasing power, which are more Gen Z and millennials, and then the older age group of small business owners. So it’s really interesting because there was such a digital disconnect,” Okere said. “We are working to close the gap between those that are buying and those that are selling. Closing that gap starts with working to transform the digital presence of some of these small businesses.”
A common mistake is that older business owners assume the same content is suitable for each platform.
Okere said these platforms have vastly different demographics, and what consumers want to see on Instagram is not the same as what they want to see on Twitter.
Rem and Company’s consultants strategize with business owners to help them create content and teach them skills to ensure they can continue developing content on their own. That way, when they end consulting services, they are able to maintain the practices that were implemented to improve their branding.
The company’s content curators, content creators, engagement specialists and influencer strategists are all part of the brand development team, which is one of six teams the company operates with.
Other teams include public relations, outreach, admin, consulting and resource identification, which teaches businesses how to apply for grants and funding.
The company has already hired 350 staff members as volunteers. Quarantine played a large role in acquiring this help.
“I think the biggest thing is that we realized there are tons of qualified people at home with extra time on their hands due to remote learning environments and uncertain career plans due to COVID-19,” Okere said. “When given the opportunity to further develop their skills while helping their community through Rem and Company, we had so many students and professionals reach out, excited to donate their time to our initiative.”
Even if the volunteers are full-time employees at another company, they have dedicated their free time to help small businesses affected by COVID-19.
Undergraduates have been eager to offer their help, and will now have more opportunities to do so with Rem and Company on Campus. Through Rem on Campus, Okere hopes to prepare students with the professional skills they will need to one day help their local communities.
From consulting to content creation, Rem and Company has helped small businesses rebrand and adjust their marketing strategies in efforts to combat the effects of the global pandemic.
Feature image credit: @remandcompany Instagram