It’s not business as usual, thanks to COVID-19. That 2020 marketing vision you had at the start of the year has turned blurry. Be it a digital makeover or an awesome marketing plan, it has to be shelved. It’s an evolving situation is the buzzphrase. But to businesses, it alludes to uncertainties.
For many businesses, it’s the first time they are seeing a crisis of this magnitude. So their responses may be a trail of trial and error. In this current climate, consumers may be more accommodating of mistakes. Having said that, the impetus is on the business to minimise, if not avoid mishits and missteps. In this post, we’d like to share a few brand management tips for your consideration.
1. Avoid hard sell, offer support
Trying to make a sale is the last thing on your playbook unless you are in the hand sanitiser, face masks or toilet roll business. Even if you are, you would probably not have to try very hard. In this sombre mood, people need to know they will be supported in their effort to combat the outbreak. If you’re a corner mom-and-pop shop, your support can come in the form of hand sanitisers at the front door or neatly packed boxes of their orders for pick-up without them having to walk into the shop. Be creative but stick to the narrative of providing support.
2. Work on your omnichannel communication
In an ever-evolving situation, it is important the lines of communication with customers are kept open. Utilising all the available social media channels helps. Ensuring you get messages to customers quickly is critical. Given people’s multi-platform consumption behaviour today, it makes sense to utilise them all. Chances of anyone missing out on your important messages are greatly reduced, if not eliminated.
3. Focus on your best customers
Growth is a bonus in a crisis situation. In fact, taking a hit is more likely. But it’s important you are not dealt a knock-out blow. To avoid this, you must direct all your resources and energy towards taking care of your best customers well. Whether you define them as your repeat buyers or biggest spending buyers, they must be well looked after.
4. Be creatively relevant, not clever
Opportunities to be creative remain. You don’t have to complement the sombre mood with dry execution ideas. While people are ultra-sensitive in a health pandemic, wit and humour keep the spirits up. But you have to be relevant. Neither should it be an opportunistic punt.
The wheels may not have come off but they may be wobbly. If the recovery patterns are close to the last deadly flu crisis, SARS, we can expect flattening of the curve to happen within the next 6 months. Until then, businesses may have to hold on tight to their rails.
Balancing today’s needs and the long-term viability of the business is key. Don’t throw brand management out the window. To learn how you can keep on top of it, connect here.