The last few months have witnessed massive changes in business environment across the globe. Every industry is being impacted in some ways: Customer behaviors change, “non-essential” businesses are forced to shut down, people are shopping online more than ever. Serious questions have been asked about how brands should adjust their strategies in this unprecedented time and how to stay in touch with their customers. Here are some strategies that you can take to help steer your business through this difficult time!
1. Embracing new content strategy
Making efforts to deliver the right message is a good way to reach out to customers, especially in the time of crisis. Recently, Nike, one of the most famous brand shoes in the world, has received good responses from followers for its message encouraging people to play sport at home during the period of self-isolation. The message was simple, yet it is believed to successfully deliver the sporting spirit while encouraging compliance with self-quarantine. Cristiano Ronaldo, one of the brand’s ambassadors, also repeated the message later in his post.
Another exciting campaign we all should learn from belonged to Kiehls. In early April, this beauty brand decided to please their stay-at-home customers by launching a series of virtual sessions on beauty and mental health! Their virtual wellness program lasted 6 days and ranged from daily skincare sessions to mask & meditation. Other beauty brands such as Dior, L’Oréal Group, Mac Cosmetics are also doing a great job in adapting their content strategy and embracing innovative ways to engage with their customers in this unprecedented time.
2. Organizing virtual conference / event
Amidst the outbreak of Covid-19, many brands have to cancel or postpone their events as an attempt to prevent the spread of the pandemic. Here comes a big question: Besides social media posts, how can brands communicate with their customers at scale? It turnt out that the answer is simple: To make the event go virtual!
HIMSS20, a Global Health Conference & Exhibition planned to take place in March 2020, had to be postponed due to Covid-19. While the organizers promised to host a virtual event at some point in the future, 1 day later, 1upHealth announced to host its own virtual health conference in the following week. They wrote on their website: “Just like you, we’re super upset HIMSS was canceled due to COVID-19. So instead, we’ve come up with the antidote, the 1st Virtual Health Conference 2020”. The conference was live-streamed on YouTube Live on March 11th, attracting thousands of online participants.
Another virtual event that received great attention from the media was the Virtual Denim Trade Show. With the cancellation of the Kingspin Amsterdam event over Covid-19, Kinspin has recently announced to host a virtual trade show taking place in April in replace of their original Amsterdam show. The act of switching from physical events to virtual one is an ideal solution not only to help brands communicate with their customers in this tough period but also encourages remote attendees to participate in the event.
3. Offering additional values to customers
There is no doubt that Covid-19 has created a rapid change in consumer’s buying behavior, yet this time is an unique opportunity for brands to stay ahead of the game by building strong customer relationships and strengthening their marketing position. Many brands from different industries have taken proactive steps by offering additional services to bring the best customer experience.
In the Foodservice industry, restaurants and major food chains started focusing on delivery option. In Malaysia, KFC, Pizza Hut, McDonald offered takeaway service and encouraged customers to pay with cashless payment. In America, fast food chains like Subway, IHOP and other fast food chains also provided free delivery to encourage customers to eat from home without bearing the additional cost.
In the video streaming market, Netflix Party has recently enabled the viewers to chat with each other while streaming videos on Netflix. This feature received a lot of praise as it allows people to connect with others in the self-isolation period. The new entrant Disney+ also announced to stream their movie Frozen 2 three months ahead of the schedule to bring some fun and joy to families during this challenging time.
As many schools and education institutes were closed due to Covid-19, Adobe is providing free temporary access to Adobe Connect, a web conferencing solution that allows students to learn remotely by joining virtual classrooms, training and meetings. In addition, Adobe is also offering schools with temporary at-home licenses to Creative Cloud desktop apps to facilitate distance teaching and learning.
4. Giving back to the community in time of need
According to a survey conducted by The American Association of Advertising Agencies (4A’s), 56% of consumers are pleased to hear about brands taking action to support communities in response to Covid-19! Airbnb, Heineken, Nike, Coca are examples of large corporations taking initiatives to support the community. However, you don’t need to be a big brand to fight against Covid-19. It is encouraging to see many local businesses in Thailand, Malaysia, Philippines, India… joining hands and doing their parts to make a difference in society.
Thinking about how your brand could contribute to the communities in time of need is a good strategy to win customer’s hearts. By giving back to the communities, brands are not only fulfilling their corporate social responsibility but also raising awareness and adding great credibility to their names.
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