What marketing activities to take during the global crisis? Do you even carry them out?
Coronavirus … we hear everywhere! Because it’s everywhere and everything turns us upside down. There is no industry which, by shaking the chains, would not feel the current pandemic of the coronovirus. COVID-19 wreaks havoc and affects all brands, both small and large.
Earlier, we heard about the closing of factories in China, which had a big impact on problems in supply chains, followed by an epidemic in Italy and throughout Europe. What we heard earlier in China and Italy has reached us. We already feel the crisis related to the spread of Covid-19 in Poland. Schools, shopping malls were closed, many companies and offices were delegated to work remotely or were closed at all. Hairdressing and beauty salons, industrial shops, gyms were closed and we hear … a virus from everywhere. Every day more bans are introduced. These activities are aimed at slowing down the pandemic. We should all support them, because it concerns us all. Until recently, we could find funny memes „in anticipation of a coronavirus” on social media, but no one was aware of the seriousness of the problem. It happens and applies to all brands, all of us.
How to conduct marketing and brand communication in times of crisis?
First of all, we can’t behave as if nothing happened and focus on sales, sales, promotions, rooms, discount codes, etc. We should also not be selfish as if the crisis only affected our brand and complain about everything around. The problem concerns us all. Not only large brands, not only smaller brands, not just selected or selected segments – all! All brands will feel the effects of a pandemic, but some will do better than others.
If the brand’s communication activities have not changed, then it’s time to change it. At the moment, in the face of what is happening around the action according to pre-set schedules, they may be badly received. Of course, we do not want to hear and read about the virus everywhere, that we would like to read or watch communication nice, funny, pleasant, but … about it a little later … Unfortunately, many brands do not respond to the changing situation. Posts and stories are full of ads, promotions, discount codes. Influencer marketing, which in our other entry is currently full of photos from celebrity life, holiday photos, discount codes. But … this is not the moment. The subject of the virus dominated all levels and, referring to Maslow’s pyramid, the need for acquisition has now been pushed into the background to meet the needs of survival and security.
What should brand communication look like in times of crisis?
It is definitely time to analyze and modify brand communication activities. Brands must be aware that their customers are not looking for information on the latest trends or „mega” promotions. They worry about themselves, their surroundings and their business. And this is where the field of action for brands opens. If your brand is able to help, then let it help and support. Currently, many world fashion brands, big fashion houses have donated funds to fight a pandemic. Blogger Chiara Ferragmi raised almost 4 million Euro among her fans, which she donated for hospitalization in the fight against the virus. Many international companies have decided to help and support the fight against the virus.
In Poland, many companies have declared their readiness to sew protective masks and company support. But what if the brand faced the mark ??? She can’t afford great gestures and company support? Communication must be clear and connected with reality. Because the crisis is affecting us globally, brand communication should refer to the current situation. We also build the brand in times of crisis. Suddenly introducing promotions and directing activities at CTA, at this moment indicates the weakness of the brand. Each brand has its recipients, now it’s time for education, civic attitude and support. This is the moment when we should focus on the image, not on sales. Once we refer to this situation, which affects us all, it is worth considering further brand communication and marketing activities, because their further suspension for an indefinite period is not the best solution.
First of all, marketing activities in the network, but at the moment not focused on CTA (call to action) aimed at sales. For brand communication, it is time to redirect the budget previously planned for sales.
Brands should communicate their values. Do it consistently and consistently to move to other content naturally when the crisis is over.
Brands should conduct a dialogue, because communication non-existence for a long period of time will not bring anything good. It is therefore time to refine the website, improve branding, for which there is always no time, analyze and choose the right communication channel, supplement entries and posts in social media. Time spent working on the brand’s image and its visual identity.
Let’s remember that we spend more time using the Internet today. The probability that your future customers will find your brand on the web is increasing, so you should take care of branding and a clear message of the brand. Let’s think what can communicate at the moment? Let’s try to be where our customers are. The brand should communicate with reality. So we’re building a content community. For example, the YES brand on stories conducted a survey in which it asked its clients what content they were interested in at that time? This is a great example of brand communication in relation to real events.
Let’s get ready for sale. If not a sales platform, then a website … if not, then sales via instagram or facebook.
Online shopping may be affected by both brand and supply uncertainty. Communication must be clear and reliable. So let’s take care of visual communication and outstanding branding. If until now the brand has only sold offline, it must take into account that it can wait … for the next customers. It is worth considering whether such brand communication will give it a chance to survive. Will the brand survive this difficult time. Is it worth it now to bet on good branding and transfer the brand to the network?
In summary, brand communication in the time of crisis fulfills the role of building a long-term relationship with the customer. If the brand at this moment takes care of the customer by engaging in various free, educational, non-sales campaigns, it just gives something from the brand, it will be noticed and appreciated and the customer will repay for it in the future. Brands often fight with each other and in the age of epidemiological crisis we are all equal, our attitude counts.
Together we can do more.