It won’t be a surprise to anyone to hear that Covid19 has created a period of instability and uncertainty for millions of people across the world. Each day we see hundreds of new headlines and stories covering the impact the pandemic is having on our lives, businesses and relationships – and it is clear as we navigate our way through this that life may never return to the ‘normal’ we once knew. Self-isolation and public safety measures have kept the public indoors and shop fronts closed to all. In this changing commercial landscape brands must evolve and adapt to this new way of life. So, the question is: How?
Brands swiftly adapting the way they are positioned within the market and how they communicate with consumers is key during this period as behaviours and attitudes shift. In these unsettling times, uplifting news stories and demonstrations of community spirit have been shared repeatedly in the media. Our weekly community spirit barometer here at Giraffe Insights is indicating that it is only getting stronger and this is what brands should bear in mind.
Never has it been so important for businesses to provide reassurance and assistance to their consumers. One study has shown that 77% of people want to know how brands are ‘helpful in the new every day’ and 70% want to be ‘offered a reassuring tone’. You may have seen brands already adopt these messages across social media and TV. Nike’s Play inside, play for the world campaign has seen sports stars don their best Nike kit and exercise indoors on Instagram videos, with captions reminding consumers we are all ‘on one team’. Another heartening example comes from WhatsApp, who are helping people ‘stay connected’ and have partnered with WHO to fact-check rumours spread on the messaging platform. Tailoring communications and marketing in this way offers reassurance to consumers that brands are with them every step of the way.
Now more than ever, consumers expect their favourite brands to do their part in society. It is reported that 72% of people feel that ‘companies have a responsibility to aid during the Coronavirus’ and companies are doing just that. Spurred on by growing community spirit, some brands have repurposed their physical spaces in the fight against the virus. Fashion giant Christian Dior is using its French factories to produce hand sanitizer, whilst Balenciaga creates face masks and manufacturers such as Ferrari and Dyson have swapped gadgets for respirators. Significantly, these brands have not publicised these actions. This humble approach has been positively received by the public for not being a profit grabbing move but instead using their resources for the greater good. There is a fine line between marketing a brand and being opportunistic. Positioning yourself as trustworthy and reliable in this new and evolving consumer world is having greatest impact. Brand success stories such as those illustrated here are demonstrating that people want to feel safe and secure during times where both cannot be taken for granted; brand messaging can deliver this.
If you want to know more about the changing media landscape and consumer trends during Covid19 or are interested in hearing how we can help your brand stay connected please contact us.
Written by: Navdeep Snotra