Over the last few weeks businesses have been coming out of the woodwork flooding our inboxes with how they’ve ‘helped’ flatten the coronavirus curve. But who cares about what that random sunscreen company I once subscribed to has to say about the crisis? Can UV even penetrate the four walls and a roof I’ve been confined to since working from home became the new norm?
Virtue signalling is the new craze, with every company adding their two-cents to the coronavirus conversation. However, the messages we are sending during this unprecedented time require a balance of tone, action and authenticity, in order to avoid any potential harm to your brand’s image.
If you’re undecided whether your brand should weigh in perhaps ask yourself:
Are there opportunities for my brand to pivot and do good during this time?
Can my brand genuinely enter the conversation and add value?
If you answered yes to either of the above questions, it is important that reliability, reassurance and flexibility are at the heart of your messaging. Whether through online purchasing or doorstep delivery, consumers want to remove the ‘dealership’ visit from the equation – and know they’ll be looked after for years.
For example, GoPro has pivoted their messaging as WFH has become the new norm and people try to entertain themselves at home. As such, GoPro launched the #HomePro challenge to encourage and reward user generated content at home, demonstrating how flexibility in messaging can drive positive outcomes in the current environment.
Wall Street Journal (WSJ) is leading the charge when it comes to reliability, as they were the first ‘western’ media source to report on coronavirus. With unparalleled efficient and reliable content, two times more WSJ subscriptions were sold that week versus the week prior. This saw a 142% increase in unique views and an 87% increase in page views that week versus an average week. Being transparent and trusted can increase consumer confidence and boost your reputation.
Reassurance has been at the heart of Hyundai’s messaging as they have announced they are extending their five year warranty by the duration of the lockdowns. Hyundai understand that the current economic slow-down brings significant financial difficulties to consumers, not to mention a change in consumer perceptions, emotions and behaviours, and have revised their policies to benefit consumers and drive positive outcomes while this pandemic unfolds.
To land on the right side of history constructing an effective message and ensuring you have a revised media placement strategy requires careful consideration.
All generations are turning to news sites more frequently to stay informed with four in ten consumers reading the news more frequently and only 30% checking social media regularly.
As brands begin to pivot their message, new creatives in the market are stabilising across TV whilst experiencing an uplift in print. Brands in the fashion, food, finance and domestic electrical appliance categories saw the biggest introduction of new creatives in the market across these two channels this week.
As news intake spikes while consumers hustle to stay informed, businesses should not fear that adjacency, given the relevance of their brand and message. 78% of consumers report that their sentiment toward a brand whose ad appeared adjacent to coronavirus content would be unchanged.
While the mix of media platforms used by consumers rapidly changes, brands should also modify their media. For example, with digital entertainment spiking, you may want to amplify your use of ad-supported premium video streaming and mobile gaming.
Not only do brands need to be more agile they need to be associated with kindness and authentic acts of service. People remember brands for affecting positive change in a time of crisis. This could take the form of charitable donations. Adobe for example made Creative Cloud available to K-12 students, knowing this was a moment to give rather than be purely commercial.
Many alcohol companies have also repurposed their manufacturing capabilities to make hand-sanitiser instead. Feel-good content that alleviates stress and drives positive messaging can go a long way to enhance the success of a brand – Today’s consumers recognise authenticity and purpose.
Toilet paper producers, Cottonelle delivered a message to ease consumers’ concerns and counter panic buying. They urged people to “stock up on generosity” launching the #ShareASquare campaign.
By carefully considering your brands messaging and where these messages are being filtered out to, you will not only affect positive outcomes during this pandemic, you will also develop emotional customer relationships and improve the consumer journey. Ultimately, fostering a forward-thinking and more profitable brand heading into the future.
Talk to Ardent Communications today for a free discovery session on how to best position your brand during the current environment.