Maintaining your brand esteem amid virus scare
There is no denying that times are tough and pain is inevitable for all of us. Right from the migrant labourer to women who is a victim of domestic violence all are going through difficult times. The coronavirus crisis has sent the economy into a tailspin and the fears of global recession have been intensified. The central idea of this article is how to keep brands afloat amid this havoc. For a brand, it is easy to be profitable when the economy flows along like a song, but the real brand is a brand that will maintain its reputation and ethics even in such an unprecedented situation. The first and most understandable response of a company to a crisis like this is to conserve cash. And marketing and people costs are first to bear the burnt. But history shows that if you cut less during downtimes, you will gain more in better times. Brands should inherit the mantra” When the going gets tough, the tough get creative” and follow these tips to stand strong and unshattered against the virus.
1) Connect. Connect. Connect.
As WHO Director Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus had a simple message to countries on how to deal with the coronavirus outbreak sweeping the globe:” Test, Test, Test”, the tips for brands is to” Connect, Connect, Connect”. Even if your product or service has felt burnt, you should still come up with some innovative ideas to remind your customers about your presence and concern for them.
To be on the top of the minds of the customers Goibibo used a wonderful strategy.
Goibibo is India’s leading online travel booking brand loan for providing quickest search and booking, fastest payment, settlement, or refund processes. Travel Ban has led to no source of revenue for them but still, they are out with some creative messages to inspire the customers to stay at home thereby justifying their presence.
2) Provide hope in times of uncertainty
Brands as a marketer should ponder upon how to provide hope with a dose of inspiration. They need to reconsider what positive role their brand can play in these uncertain times.They can even consider related diversification.
Luxury goods maker Louis Vuitton, has started using its perfume production lines to make hand sanitizers to protect people against the virus.
3) Widen your view
It’s high time for companies to demonstrate how they are working beyond profits to stay close to the customers and how they fulfill their ethical responsibility towards society. Brands who run only behind the profit now, will end up losing customers in the long term.
FMCG companies have reduced the prices of hand sanitizers following the government directive and have also increased their production to meet the sudden spike in demand thereby standing with the nation amid a severe health crisis.
4) Solve real-life consumer problems
In a crisis, consumers look for reassurance. A brand that can provide them that, reaps long-term gains in brand trust and love. Brands at present need to solve Real Life Consumer problems.
Kellogg’s’ 21 days 21 breakfast recipes’ is a classic example of the same. As families are more at home and homemakers are seeking tasty, nutritious, and convenient food options, there is a spike in online search for recipes. To combat this, Kellogg’s has launched a campaign which Chef Ranveer Brar, curating snackable content of 21 recipes for 21 days.
5) Adapt to the new normal
Brands need to look at the changing behavior of people-the culture fuels that are shaping behavior in these times. Based on these, how do we pivot our offerings (emotional and physical) so that they stay relevant to the changing behavior and expectation of people?
Fashion e-tailer Myntra has partnered with outdoor gear and clothing brand Wildcraft to sell personal protective face masks on its e-commerce platform to cater to the increasing demand for protective masks. The masks are washable, thus reusable and environmentally friendly.
Distant view with Instant actions
Brands are faced with an unprecedented scenario and they don’t have any playbook to navigate through this. In the face of these Black swan events, it needs business, brand, and people strategies to be strategically fluid so that they are nimble enough to weather the storm.
Big brands need to take the lead in influencing people to stay at home and to stay safe. Some brands have stepped forward and come up with dynamic and influential ads in addition to changing their logos to be in uniformity with the ongoing scenario.
The post-corona world will not be a shadow image of the existing world. It will be a mixture of the old and new practices but brands must anticipate the change and stay ahead of the “New Normal”.