The impact of the coronavirus crisis on businesses will be felt for decades. Brands today struggle to stay connected with their audience and stay relevant in the market. Businesses and stakeholders, on the other hand, are scared to allot an additional budget for brand building in such a volatile environment.
The crisis has changed consumer behavior significantly. The stay-at-home orders have prompted a shift in people’s use of technology particularly e-commerce, food delivery services, and online grocery shopping.
In times like these, marketers are taking a different approach. Businesses are changing the ways of how they interact with customers and reaching out to support them. Brands that display compassion and empathy are more likely to gain customer loyalty. You want to let your customer know that you understand what they are going through.
A crisis is an endurance test. You want to focus on brand building activity that has long term benefits.
We have listed five brand strategies that will help you better understand where your business fits in the current market and ensure your brand survives and thrives during this crisis.
Five Brand Building Strategies
Listen to your market
The marketing principle dictates that businesses should always craft their messaging to match the market. This is the perfect time to put that into practice. Listen to what the market is telling you and communicate thoughtfully. You may have had successful messages in the past, however, the current situation calls for reinvention and adapting.
It makes sense for brands to amplify messages preached by governments and health organizations about coronavirus etiquette. Recognize the realities of economic decline, restrictions in travel, and implementation of social distancing.
Your ‘new’ marketing messages should reflect an awareness of these protocols and that you are looking after your customers’ wellbeing. You want to spread hope that we’ll get through this crisis and move forward together.
Be proactive in your community
The coronavirus has taught us that we need to act together for the good of society. It is your duty as a business owner and influencer to take care and look after each other. Regardless of how big or small your business is, you should let your customers know you are willing to help in a time of crisis.
Think of ways in which you can lend your support. You don’t have to go big to show support to your community. For a brief period, consider offering some of your products or services for free or co-host a charitable event where proceeds go to provide relief to those affected worse by the pandemic.
Customers should always come first
The truth is: we are all affected by this pandemic. Either way, the last thing you want to do is talk about how much your business is suffering. This makes you look desperate and leaves a bad impression that you care less about your customers.
If you continue to talk about your reduced revenue, this would sound insensitive to those who have lost a family member because of the virus. Brands that don’t act responsibly will face a potential backlash from consumers.
Always be truthful and honest
Crisis inflicts fear. With the heaps of information and opinions presented on mainstream media and social media, the general public is left to fend for themselves when it comes to seeking the truth.
Business owners have the social responsibility to look after their community. Aside from practicing honest and ethical marketing strategies, it’s even more important to provide customers with clear messages during this time.
Don’t be known as the brand that takes advantage of its customers when they are most vulnerable.
Spread a message of hope
People will always remember how you make them feel in times of crisis. It is a great way to create positive energy in your community.
We are all humans with dreams, plans, and goals. One way or another, we are all affected by this virus. The only way we can get through this is if we come together and support each other. Take this opportunity to let your public know that you are willing to do your part to help the community rise.
At the end of the day, the best way to help your brand stay relevant in this crisis is to be human. Support and honor your customers. Show empathy, compassion, and always lend a helping hand to those who need it. After everything is back to “normal” and we move on, you should still keep these strategies in your marketing. This type of brand building never stops being helpful.