Certified Marketing Dose To Un-Quarantine Your Brand Post Lockdown

HDFC Bank launched a campaign to encourage social distancing. Using the outer grid of the logo, the brand created physical markers on the ground to help people maintain distance.

It’s almost two months now, since the coronavirus flipped our life upside down. From having to work from home to practice social distancing to practice living a life that is confined to a rectangular screen, coronavirus is something none of us expected. But here we are!

While everyone is trying to navigate these uncharted waters, the truth of the matter is: we are all in the same boat including people, government, businesses, brands, services, etc. Just like any living being, brands too are learning, struggling to adjust and trying to survive and pass-through this phase of life. As history has taught us that whenever humans are hit by a major existential crisis, they tend to go back to basics and seek lessons from the book of life. One such key lesson that proves beneficial for both humanity and brands today is “Life is not what happens to you, but how you react to it”.

Incorporating the same learning to the marketing world, as marketers and brands, we too do not have much control over the current situation but we certainly can control how we react and communicate to it.  Even as we come close to enter the post lockdown era, it is quite clear that business-as-usual won’t cut it right now. It is certainly not the time to try to market or sell your product directly, rather a time to reinforce the values that define your brand.  Hence the key here is to remain delicate in one’s communication approach to avoid being perceived as insensitive. While the audience will still remain at the forefront of your strategy, their needs and expectations will understandably be different. By understanding the changing consumer behaviour, you can actually challenge traditional marketing and communication norms and build stronger connections.

With no past references or learnings available nobody knows a definite path to pass this phase smoothly. But what we do have is tried-and-true crisis communication strategies that can help your brand get in a better position for when business does return to normal

  1. Big Idea: Borrowing from Idea’s brand jingle “An idea can definitely change your brand’s life”. As governments and organisations around the world echo safety etiquettes, it makes sense for brands to show solidarity through unique initiatives that convey the message of empathy and sensitivity whilst making them stand out. The idea need not involve heavy budgets, a simple message when communicated well can make you stand out.
  2. HDFC  HDFC-SafetyGrid-Hero

HDFC Bank launched a campaign to encourage social distancing. Using the outer grid of the logo, the brand created physical markers on the ground to help people maintain distance.

  • If Non-Essential, Strive To Become Essential By Changing Your Brand Avatar For A Short Period Of Time: If your brand does not cut to the list of essential items you can still become relevant by changing your brand’s avatar for a short period of time. This will not only help increase your brand recall value but also help elevate brand goodwill.

 

  1. Dominos  74916163

Domino’s partnered with ITC Foods to deliver groceries by utilising its supply chain and delivery network to deliver the essential goods.

 

  • Effectively Communicate Offline Safety measures: No matter how engaging and effectively you may have communicated via your online channels during the lockdown phase it’s your tangible offline efforts that will ultimately define your brand’s future relationship with the customers. Post lockdown the biggest concerns for businesses will be the “Public psyche”, as people will be wary of crowded places and will tend to avoid them. Hence if you want people to engage with your brand offline, it is imperative to communicate your offline initiatives effectively via online, newsletter mailers, signage’s, videos etc.
  • Technology: Technology will definitely pave a new way for businesses to operate post lockdown, with contactless and smart shopping becoming the new norms. Hence it is important for brands to embrace and adapt technology at various business touch points to communicate brand foresightedness and invest in developing smart ways to engage with customers.
  1. Spencer’s Retail 74916163

Spencer’s Retail tapped RWA residents by placing drop boxes in various housing complexes in various cities where residents drop their order lists. Residents were communicated via WhatsApp to come in batches to collect their orders.

  • Cultivate Your Brand Community Through Influencers: This pandemic has separated and made everyone alone. However interestingly for the first time in history, we are all alone together. This represents a great opportunity for brands who are increasingly becoming the cultivators of communities represented by shared values, interests and passions. You can actually bring people together via common interests or passions. An online community can really prove to be beneficial, at this time. Leverage your brand’s loyal customers to build brand champions, and partner with influencers/celebrities to echo and amplify your brand messages whilst promoting a social message.

         a) Reebok India Katrina Kaif
Reebok India Celebrity partnership: Katrina Kaif promoted healthy living and work out from home regime wearing brand merchandise positioning brand as an ideal partner for a fitness journey

  • Become A Reliable Friend And Expert: Coronavirus has hit every business differently. Become a thought leader by communicating the specific changes you foresee in your respective industry and provide vital solutions to consumers to deal with the same

Conclusion

Crisis situation requires thoughtful navigation from everyone. When dealing with uncertainty, brands need to think from the perspective of their audience and communicate accordingly. This requires brands to communicate as much as they can with limited information and be useful, vigilant, empathetic and sensitive towards the matter. A thumb rule is to try NOT to mindlessly use a crisis situation to market or sell.

 

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