It is an understatement to say that these are highly unusual and trying times. Everyone is holding their collective breath to see what happens next. We are also consuming content at an incredible pace. We want to know how to protect ourselves, what we can and can’t do as part of growing quarantines, what the economy is going to do, and what stores have restocked their shelves with toilet paper.
As marketers, you may have been one of the thousands who have already sent an eblast to every customer who has ever done business with you to let them know that you are concerned for everyone’s safety, you are taking the appropriate steps, and that you appreciate their business. Should you have done this? Yes. Did you send it to too many people? Probably.
The question is: Now what? Your customers may not be able to purchase or interact with your brand for an extended period-of-time. How do you keep your brand in front of them and relevant? Thread has put together this short list of things to consider as you work to keep your brand strong.
1. Keep advertising.
Okay, this may seem a bit self-serving coming from an advertising agency. But as I mentioned earlier, the nation is consuming a lot of media right now (even if it is a replay of the National Hamburger Eating Contest. Yes, I actually saw that listed. No. I didn’t watch it. Honest.). The audiences are out there, and they aren’t just binge streaming or watching what they DVR’d. Also, with many companies pulling back on their advertising, now may be the perfect time to get a little extra exposure from your marketing budget.
2. Adjust if you can.
Is there a way for you to adjust your distribution model so that you can still get your products into customers hands? There was a time when setting up an ecommerce platform and website would have taken months if not years. Now it can be as easy as setting up an Amazon account. Shopping local and your distributor relationships are important, but Amazon may be the short-term help you need to allow your customers to continue to purchase your products.
3. It doesn’t have to be all about COVID-19.
We are all seeing the commercials that are communicating low interest rates, deferred payment options, and home delivery. If you have offers to help people during this critical time, great. Put them in place and communicate them. Double check to make sure that the spots you have running are relevant and make sense with the current state of business. However, there is nothing wrong with your normal brand messaging. People right now welcome any type of normalcy they can find. Even their favorite commercial from their favorite brand.
4. Stay sincere and true to your brand.
If you are going to reference the current health crisis in your communications, make sure that it is sincere and doesn’t come off as taking advantage of the current situation. Commonsense will go a long way in guiding what you say and how you say it. When in doubt, stay true to your brand. It has served you well and it will get you through this.
5. This will pass.
Part of having a healthy brand is making sure that you are ready for things when they get back to normal. What can you be doing now to ensure you’re ready when this situation subsides? While this is all still fresh, learn from this time so that if/when something similar happens again you’re not caught off guard but have a response plan in place. If you feel you have the here and now taken care of, great? You are better off than most. So, plan, plan, plan. The work you do now can pay bigger dividends down the road. Make sure everything is ready when all of us are done with our stay-at-home orders and want to re-engage with our favorite brands.