COVID-19: 4 Steps Brands Should Follow to Survive and Standout

The current pandemic Covid-19 has taken over the world and times have become trying to brands as well as they have to figure out how to communicate and respond to customers.

Marketing is generally not a proactive function, it is in fact reactive to changes in consumer behaviour and economic conditions.
More so, the spread of Corona Virus does not mean that business can go on as usual. THe wolrd has come to a standstill anbd now is the time for brands ot be able to navigate the crisis in a way that they can share their brand messages without being offensive or insensitive to the consumers. A PDF, by Carly Gibson (Strategist) and Renata Mittnacht (Associate Director) at Ogilvy New York, shares five steps that brands should follow in order to decide how to communicate and respond to their customers on social media during the current pandemic.

1. Learn to Listen

In times like these, brands that might try to sell for profit in mind are more likely to face adverse reactions. Each brand needs to understand the emotions of their audiences. Gibson and Mittnacht outline three trends: panic, solidarity and levity (the need to laugh) and to start off they recommend tracking hashtags related to coronavirus in the social media space, detailing how and with what emotions/reactions their brand is being talked about.

2. Try to be sensitive

Often times, brands struggle to find the correct tone and voice to use on social media in normal times, and given the current situation where emotions such as fear, panic, stress and boredom are running wild, audiences are susceptible to misinterpreting brand messages. Hence, the tone should be sensitive and this is definitely not the right time to push irrelevant products or over sell relevant ones.

3. Become adaptable

We all are familiar with the expression adapt or die. Brands need to reevaluate processes, thinking and how they communicate, what they say and where they say it. To do so effectively brands need to be aware of changes in consumer behaviour.

4. Follow what you preach

Gibson and Mittnacht have also expressed the situation: “a global crisis at the scale of coronavirus can be a make or break moment for brands — testing not only their values and commitment, but also their agility, creativity and spirit.” To put it simply, it’s time for brands to walk the talk. While many brands continue to share the message asking people to stay at home. Others have focused on trying to diffuse the panic and disseminating facts. Another area of opportunity is to collaborate with medical associations or health professionals. A third area is new products and offerings that are relevant at present.

In conclusion, every brand needs to decide how it can still be of value to its customers as well as perform the best and most responsible marketing in the time of coronavirus.