The coronavirus crisis is unfolding and worsening, by the day. While the pandemic is wreaking havoc on the global economy, it is also causing widespread anxiety and disruption as most publicists, brand marketers and marketing managers don’t know how to act in times of such crisis.
While fast-food chains have enclosed their seating areas, the retail stores on most high-streets have shut down their stores. With every nook and corner resembling a ghost town, is your brand ready for this crisis? Now is the time to tweak your brand messaging and communication.
In the words of Robert H. Schuller, “Tough times never last, but tough people do”. It’s true that tough times like these reveal the real character of a brand.
Though a lot of brands have short-term strategies in place, what is going to happen if the crisis drags on for months? Prepping for the future is essential too.
3 Tips to Survive Brand Quarantine
Amidst such times, choosing the right brand behaviour is important. Don’t use this time as a cheap marketing ploy to get more customers. Instead, infuse more meaning into your brand messages. This will help in keeping consumer relationships intact with your brand. No brand wants to get out-of-sight or out-of-mind during such times. Here’s what you can do:
- Embrace new sales channels: Despite the country being in a lockdown, people still want to buy certain things – essentials, necessities and comforts. Use this as an opportunity to serve your demographic via alternate channels. Though ecommerce cannot save the day for you, it is crucial. In the wake of coronavirus, 46% consumers are likely to buy clothing online while close to 65% are leveraging on the internet to shop for personal care products, groceries and home essentials. Restaurants too can adopt a similar approach. With a temporary ban on dine-in, they can resort to selling takeaways and home deliveries.
- Be mindful of what you post: During this time, be thoughtful about your brand messaging tone. It’s not a good time to be sarcastic. Empathy and understanding will go a long way. If you happen to get it wrong, it can hamper your brand image forever. Be agile and help your followers deal with these trying times. If there are certain emergency or helpline numbers, post them on your social media pages. Keep up-to-date with what’s happening and ensure your messaging aligns with important updates.
- Revisit your marketing strategies: With a change in the emotional state of mind of a consumer, take into consideration your marketing strategy as well. Pause scheduled tweets and marketing campaigns. Instead, now in the time to ramp up your customer service on social media. The travel sector particularly is bombarded with high volume calls and messages. Channelize your efforts towards addressing these requests instead of posting new content. For brands that are not in the service sector, you can use this time to rethink your marketing strategy, branding and PR projects as there is no immediacy of regular social media posting.
Post-crisis, the recovery may be faster than we can expect. Don’t cut back too far now that you cannot capitalise post-recovery. Plan for bigger success tomorrow. Of course, precautions to contain the spread of the virus is necessary.
Challenges and crisis are a part and parcel of every business. Stay strong, let nothing deter you from achieving your brand objective and you will bounce back stronger.