The unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic has made brands (online and offline) question what and how they communicate with their customers. In a competitive landscape where everyone is struggling to be sensitive to the global crisis and stay relevant, brands have had to introspect and analyze their messaging.
Here are 5 ways brands are transforming their actions and messages to increase and retain brand loyalty in the new normal.
Incentives like free delivery, discounts, and sales have to be advertised and offered to help consumers overcome their fear of financial distress amidst the pandemic. Various brands along with service providers like restaurants, pharmacies, and liquor stores are offering incentives to bring customers back into the market. Even educational and fitness portals that are providing their services online due to the pandemic, are offering free classes and courses to create brand loyalty and use.
Research suggests that consumers want the brands that they associate with to contribute to the community efforts of recovery from the pandemic. Consumers are more likely to shop/use the products/services of a particular brand if a percentage of the money they spend is then being used to support healthcare workers. Brands can provide meals or donate personal protective equipment (PPE) to healthcare workers or disenfranchised members of the community. Consumers feel more secure spending money if they learn that a part of it is being used to combat the current crisis.
Consumer behavior has changed drastically because of and amid the pandemic. Anything that seems non-essential or non-relevant is being summarily discarded. It is extremely important that brands establish their relevance and utility in the new normal, or they will stop appealing to consumers. Brand campaigns or content on social media that does not incorporate the effect that the pandemic has had on everyone’s daily lives will generate negative responses.
Whether its advertisements, digital content on social media, brand images, visuals that convey a sense of community and camaraderie are essential. One of the biggest fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic has been an increased sense of isolation and anxiety. Brands need to communicate the sense of being together, even when physically apart, or the sense of combating the crisis together as a team. If not, they will not be responded to positively. Marketers, advertisers, content creators need to be able to communicate the message of intimacy and friendship in the new normal.
There is no one, who hasn’t been affected by the pandemic. Whether the impact is small or large might differ but everyone’s life has been disrupted and changed. It makes no sense for brands to disregard the fact that there was a starkly different life before COVID-19. Brand messaging shouldn’t attempt to avoid that reality, instead, brands should focus on striking the fine balance between acknowledging the new normal and cherishing the fond memories of happier times.
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