Our culture is quickly adapting to this new state of normal, as our economy and businesses slow down, so do we. What we want to get out of businesses and brands we connect with is also changing, and the way you communicate with your customers should change too. In this blog, we look at how to strike the right tone and remain relevant during these difficult times.
What is the ‘new normal’?
As businesses across the country slow down, most of the population are experiencing a cultural shift from busy to ‘paused.’ Brands are also having to adapt to new roles, smaller roles and, for some, unexpected larger roles.
Brewdog, a beer brewing company based in Wales, have begun manufacturing hand sanitiser. While flights companies like Easy Jet and British Airways have totally or partially shut down their routes. On the other hand, brands such as Zoom (a video call programme) and Houseparty (a social app), have experienced huge increases in their usage. In 2020 so far, Zoom has had 2.2 million new users, more than the 1.9 million they accrued in the whole of 2019 (CNBC).
Recently, brands have gotten behind the ‘stay at home’ mantra with efforts to re-focus it to ‘be safe at home.’
How is the ‘new normal’ affecting our needs?
In a survey by ITV, they identified four core human needs:
- Social connection – the need to be together
- Identity – the need to work out who we are in relation to others
- Ability – the need to develop and learn
- Pleasure – the need to feel good and have fun
When these needs are affected, we lose control, and an impulse reaction to losing control is to try and control an aspect of our lives, this behaviour has been shown in stock-piling food.
This new normal has also influenced our ‘rituals’ of familiarity, behaviours we performed without thinking that gave our lives structure.
- Experiences, eating out, going to the gym/cinema
- Traditions – Mother’s Day and Easter
- Rituals – exercising, self-care
- Routines – going to work
We are having to adapt these rituals into something new, and as these change the way in which brands fit into our lives also changes.
What are consumers looking for from your brand during this crisis?
- A direct benefit for them e.g. free delivery.
- Honesty and transparency; is it taking you longer to deliver? Tell your customers this.
- Listen; if you’re experience an influx of communication, prioritise the key, recurring issues.
- Look after your own; a brand says a lot about themselves by the way they treat their staff, brands that are seen to be protecting and reassuring their own win the hearts of the nation at this difficult time.
- Strip it back; get to your point quickly.
- Think about your media; consumer behaviours have changed; your marketing platforms need to also.
How are other brands adapting to this change?
- Power of kindness – #bekind, supporting NHS/key workers, shopping local
- Reassurance – we’re in this together, people are seeking facts (BBC/Sky News)
- Creativity – more time to indulge hobbies, home schooling
- Wellbeing – self-care, gardening, DIY
- Laughs – memes, lifting spirits
No doubt over the past few weeks you will have seen offers from UK businesses to NHS/key workers.
Why should your brand adapt?
Initial instinct may be to pull back on advertising, but there are strong points as to why you shouldn’t.
- Opportunity to grow and maintain cost effective and high share of voice.
- Long periods off air are likely to weaken brand health and market share.
- Customers will remember brands that jumped ship / became invisible.
What should your response look like?
- Clear and concise.
- Is it adding to anxiety? Do your consumers really need an email about what you’re doing about coronavirus?
- Reassure where possible; your brand is a sign of normality.
- Be emotive.
- Make it light-hearted, where appropriate.
- Uplift the nation – be positive!
- Remove new frictions; how can you remove barriers? Some examples include virtual open days/tours, contact free delivery and takeaway services.
- Be generous; how can your brand help others?
- Come together; rivalries have no place here; can you work together with your competitors to pool resources/staff?
- Where possible, reinvent yourself; for example, Dyson are now making ventilators and Brewdog are producing hand sanitisers.
- Inspire self-care and wellbeing.
How can The Media Angel help?
If you need guidance or advice on ways to adapt your marketing plans in the short-term, get in touch with our friendly team today – [email protected].
Tags: marketing advice, marketing help, advertising advice, advertising help, coronavirus, COVID-19, business help during coronavirus UK, marketing help during coronavirus, advertising help during coronavirus, Wales marketing coronavirus, Wales advertising coronavirus.