How Are Brands Standing Strong During COVID-19?
Since it’s very first cases, brands around the world knew that COVID-19 would have unknown effects on their businesses. Consumers stopped spending, marketing budgets shrunk and the whole world came to a standstill as the effects of COVID-19 continued to spread around the globe. From closed storefronts to dwindling online sales, how are brands standing strong during these unsavory times?
Encouraging Online Engagement Vs. Conversion
Right now is not the time to drive conversion messaging and the “buy my product” mindset. Yes, brands do need to continue driving revenue for sustainability, but the engagement of the consumer with a brand is now more important. Consumers will remember those brands that continued to push their products or solutions vs. those that stood by the community.
Encourage online happy hours, virtual concerts, live promotions – whatever you can take online do it! A recent study found that social media usage is at an all-time height, with usage increasing by 61% over normal usage rates. Snapchat’s stock has climbed to the highest it ever has in two years, Twitter has 23% more daily users than it did a year ago and businesses have changed how they are utilizing social media. 1:1 engagement between businesses and consumers have continued to grow as brands, agencies, organizations, cities, etc. utilize social platforms to drive connection and conversation. Now is the time to drive meaning with your consumer.
Deliver Simple Messages Around Social Responsibility
Keep your messaging simple – stand with the community and help if you can. There’s no need for anything flashy right now. Consumers are prone to spending with brands if they feel they share the same values as them.
A recent campaign from Coca-Cola has gone viral as they bought out advertising space in Times Square to share a simple, but powerful message. “Staying apart is the best way to stay united”. Simple. Informative. Powerful.
Staying Human Could Keep Brands Afloat
Keeping your messaging simple isn’t the only important element. Keeping your messaging human will be vital for brands. There’s over 3.3 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 worldwide. People’s lives have been uprooted due to this, so being sensitive is necessary.
Look at Diageo. They have committed over $1 million worldwide to support bartenders and other affected groups and have successfully implemented the human element to their marketing messages. Not only is it a simple but powerful message; it also shows that this big brand is standing in solidarity with the global community.
Offering Services Virtually For All
At this point those brands that could take their offerings online have done so or are in the process of doing so. With that said, be creative when taking your services online. As the weeks continue under quarantine consumers need new entertainment. The Rosé Mansion in New York City has hosted virtual happy hours. Universal Studios released Trolls World Tour straight to VOD (video on demand) for movie goers to see something new. Restaurants that never offered delivery before have found a way to continue operations by offering delivery through partners such as Grubhub or UberEats.
Online experiences are somewhat new in terms of possibilities, but the more creative brands get, the more engaged consumers will become.
While consumer spending globally has declined, there are a multitude of brands that are staying strong during difficult times. By adapting business operations to fit consumer needs, brands will be able to increase engagement with their audiences and continue to mitigate revenue loss and potentially increase their revenue. If you haven’t already, lead with consumer first messaging, create online experiences and offer your products or solutions virtually if you are able to do so. This will aid in your efforts to stand strong during COVID-19.