COVID-19: How your Brand Should Be Responding To Customers During This Global Crisis
We all started the year with daring resolutions, for both our personal, professional and business goals, until the reality of a global pandemic rocked the earth in a direction totally opposite of what we all planned for.
It came as a shock to all of us — even for brands who never imagined that a global pandemic would bring about their breakthrough. I’m talking about companies like Zoom (a video conferencing platform that fast became the pandemic’s go to for communication) and Houseparty (the social media app) — they both finally got a breakthrough into the mainstream market after years “thanks” to a global pandemic and social distancing.
The questions brands and business owners have been trying to answer have remained the same;
What is the best way to connect and communicate with our customers? What should we be saying to them differently?
Here are 3 ways to communicate with your customers’ and keep their trust during these crazy times and if you do it right, you may even win the hearts of new prospects who will totally fall in love with your messaging.
1. Adjust Your Messaging To Address The Issue At Hand
These times are very uncertain and even for the biggest brands in the world these times raise a very big concern, but pretending that everything is ok and doing business, as usual, is probably the biggest mistake many brands are making right now.
People never forget how you make them feel and giving hope in times of crisis, whether global or not, is a great way to create positive energy and show to your audience that you care about them beyond their debit/credit card.
I love how global brands like Audi and Coca-Cola lent their voices to encourage social distancing by altering elements in their logos to have more spaces between them.
At Futuresoft we quickly tweaked the content strategies of our social media clients to feature safety tips and solidarity messages like “We are all in this together” “Stay safe and stay strong” “We know how this makes you feel, we feel the same way too”
2. Create & Share Useful Resources
No one shows up totally prepared for a global crisis, not even the biggest brands have it all figured out. Sharing regular content that helps your audience understand how restrictions are affecting certain areas of your business including how you serve them is a great way to help manage their expectations and empathise with you.
For example, if managing website orders becomes a problem for you, rethink your strategy and let them know other ways they can order and pay for your products.
Pro Tip: Create or update your Google MyBusiness account and your existing FAQs to answer questions that customers may have at times like these.
Beyond your business, share useful resources that your customers and target audience can use.
If you are a healthy food shop or fitness coach, think about sharing healthy meal plans and personal care routine. A restaurant can also engage their audience by sharing some of their simple recipes and how to make them from home.
Ayodele Olajiga, Foodpro’s CEO, started an Instagram IGTV series where he talks about how the company is currently dealing with the crisis and shares business tips other SMEs can adapt to stay afloat.
At Futuresoft, we started by communicating the changes in how we work during these times, we also created amazing Digital Marketing resources to help our clients and other SMEs optimise their digital channels during the crisis — You can access them here for free.
3. Walk The Talk (From Online Campaign To Offline Action)
Now more than ever, consumers expect much from brands and look up to them to take the lead where governments are failing. In a survey by Global Web Index;
81% of consumers want to get free services and another 67% think businesses should support in the production of essential supplies.
It’s more than marketing, it’s showing that you genuinely care about everyone that is affected by the crisis and that you are willing to give your time, energy and resources to support them.
In the peak of the lockdown, Nissan provided over 100 vehicles to convey health workers in need of mobility during the pandemic.
In Nigeria one of our clients, Eagle Global Markets partnered with Kuda Bank and Lagos Food Bank to feed and provide essential supplies to people and families who are most affected by the pandemic by donating a portion of their profits from every trade that was made on their platform.
In conclusion, even as businesses start to open in certain parts of the world, the impact of a crisis of this magnitude may last longer than experts have predicted. Brands who will emerge as leaders at the end of this will be those who have strategically maintained top of mind awareness while remaining sensitive to their customers.