How Covid-19 is changing the face of brands
No matter where you turn currently, the subject of Covid-19 and its life changing effects globally are just about everywhere.
It’s not only changed the way we live and work, but it has also proved to be an absolute game-changer for brands who have quickly had to change their way of thinking, doing and reacting to incorporate these unprecedented times. Some have hit it spot on, whereas others have struggled to adapt their marketing to suit; there’s the brands who have found their niche in the face of lockdown, and then there are the ones who have stepped out of the limelight, for the time being at least. So, what differences do we see from these brands and how are they riding out the Covid-19 storm? Empathy - Understanding and adapting. Things are tough right now, and by seeing what people are struggling with and attempting to help, brands are becoming a little more ‘human and personable’ in the process. It’s using a tone of voice which is hopeful yet considerate of circumstances, it’s innovation in finding solutions to new problems, it’s providing tools and resources for those in isolation or facing danger on a daily basis. These include: - A HUGE rise in brands providing exclusive offers and discounts, particularly for frontline key workers - Payments being reduced or rescheduled - Contact-free deliveries being introduced In fact, the numbers are speaking for themselves across the board: “46% of marketers have updated customer policies, such as cancellation terms or waiving fees, up from 17% back in March.” (Marketingweek.com) “Forty-seven per cent of global consumers now expect companies to support hospitals during the COVID-19 crisis, for example, by donating funds or using production facilities to create equipment.” (econsultancy.com) Continuing the conversation - Although many are struggling, the brands who recognise they need to keep talking throughout are the ones who stay on top. You might not be seeing your usual sales figures, engagement numbers or lead enquiries. And that’s the new normal. Nevertheless, do not stop being in touch with your audience; posting regularly on social media, sending update emails, getting involved with ongoing conversations. You can stay at the forefront of your target audience’s minds, and this will allow you to be on top of their mind when they need you again, ready to crack right on from where you left things in early 2020. Going virtual- The days of face to face interactions already feels like a million years ago; however, it’s been hugely interesting to see how brands have quickly taken their business online and offered their services virtually. Video marketing is now more popular (and altogether more vital), than ever before. It’s how you, as a brand, are able to still provide what you do for your audience whether these are calls, advice, tutorials, classes, support, tips… the list is endless. “Research by GlobalWebIndex found a 27% increase in social media use among Gen Z, 30% among Millennials, 29% among Gen X and 15% among Boomers. Facebook reports a 70% increase in usage across its family of apps since the crisis has started.” (Brainlabzdigital.com) Targeting - An understanding of circumstances is critical here, knowing that your audience is struggling and doing what’s possible to ease their burdens. Many brands have put their 2020 campaigns on hold and quickly come up with new, fresh ideas to fit with the current needs. “According to emarketer, 49% of marketing professionals and agencies held back a campaign launch until later in 2020, and 45% stopped or paused a media campaign midway.” (clickz.com) These include brands within the fashion industry who have increased their advertising for ‘loungewear’, the homeware industry who are targeting ideas to keep you entertained during quarantine periods, and the financial sector who are looking to ease money fears. What we’re now waiting to see is how brands will continue with these changes AFTER all the pieces have landed back down, and the world has settled back into a sense of normality, albeit a different kind than the one we experienced only a few months ago. We’ll be sure to keep you updated on how things are panning out within the world of marketing, so ensure to stay tuned for more info.
Vicky Martinez Dorr is a qualified Branding Consultant, Business and Leadership Coach, Speaker and Author with certifications in NLP and TimeLine Therapy® and Magna Cum Laude from Solvay Business School in Brussels, Belgium. With her universe of words, she is on a crusade towards helping leaders reconnect with themselves, thrive and move towards an exemplary leadership world. Her 15+ years of MarCom experience in International Branding and Multicultural Leadership have taught her how to bring beauty out of chaos in any organisation and people's professional lives. Her findings within the fragmented (and lack of) leadership, have moved her to start working towards a more authentic business world and more humane leadership culture. Vicky is the Founder of www.yourbrandstory.eu and Founder of www.atreefortheplanet.org. She is also an abstract artist. LinkedIn: https://be.linkedin.com/in/vickymartinezdorr