How to Avoid Common Brand Pitfalls During the COVID-19 Crisis
As Australia moves to a home-based economy, brands should consider their relationship with both existing and new customers, and what support they may need or be looking for during this period.
While there have been significant changes in the way people buy and consume products and services, there is evidence that suggests the spike in online consumption may outlast the crisis period. However, a permanent change in purchasing behaviours is not necessarily guaranteed. So, as a business, what does this mean for you during a period of uncertainty?
1. Be helpful – how you deal with crises now will shape consumer perception
Brands that refocus their market position and communication channels to help customers and citizens during any crisis will be more favourable among existing and future consumers.
Research by Kantar found consumers want brands to help them during times of crisis by keeping them informed about how the brand is reacting to, and being helpful in, the new everyday home-based economy. There are so many ways to communicate remotely in our digital world, so there’s no excuse for leaving your customers out of the loop.
The best advice
Even if your brand doesn’t have the resources or funds to directly alleviate the impact of COVID-19 on others, open and honest communication that creates value and demonstrates connectedness in this crisis will ultimately improve your brand reputation and the chances of coming out on top.
2. Demonstrate brand purpose and brand care
Now more than ever businesses need to tread a fine line when it comes to communication. With the increased sensitivity surrounding COVID-19, brands must intelligently adapt their marketing collateral to avoid any perception of insensitivity or tone-deafness. Whether it’s direct mail, social media posts or advertising, website content or search marketing – sticking with your old strategy presents a risk.
Reading trade marketing publications will demonstrate how even the best intentions can be poorly executed, resulting in negative brand impacts and therefore business profitability.
The best advice
This is the time to be a good corporate citizen, focus on your responsibility to act and contribute to the social good by demonstrating how products and services are genuinely helpful, rather than focusing only on increasing your bottom line.
3. Long-term thinking should inform your short-term strategy
While the Australian Government is considering loosening the restrictions surrounding forced isolation, this may not immediately influence consumers that are now purchasing essential items online.
Considering this, and the preference of customers to be informed by the brands they interact with, being present has never been more important. Kantar’s COVID-19 Barometer showed just one in 10 (8%) consumers expect brands to cut advertising. Those that do ‘go dark’ by radically cutting back costs can impact long term profitability through lack of visibility, even if there is a short-term benefit to their budgets.
The best advice
While it may be tempting to make significant short-term cuts to marketing budgets, maintaining visibility for consumers that remain online shoppers post COVID-19 will put your brand in a stronger position in a post-pandemic world.
There are multiple opportunities for brands to create value for consumers during the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s important for business owners and operators to understand and show that this crisis will pass, and a few simple considerations such as the above will help weather the storm.
Partnering with SMBs for over a decade
Our mission at WME has always been helping small and medium businesses on their journey to growth. We focus on personalised strategies that take into consideration your unique business goals, budget and brand voice. With expert teams in SEO, PPC, Social, Websites and Content – we can help you build an online presence on any of the most popular channels.
During these uncertain times, we’re committed to finding creative solutions for both new and existing clients. If you’re an existing client, please contact your account manager directly for assistance. If you’re brand new and want to discuss digital marketing options; call us on 1300 663 995 or submit a message online.
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