As the effects of the pandemic dawned upon us, brands were forced to be agile and execute a total rethink of their marketing and communication efforts to engage with their audience. During this time, we have seen companies leaning unto the strength of their brands and continuing to highlight their relevance. This is vital in sustaining long-term growth, as 62% of consumers are loyal to brands that they trust.1
Brands can develop trust by maintaining consistent communication, playing a role in contributing to the society as well as helping people navigate through tough times. Gearing towards what could possibly be the end of the isolation period, here are some tried and tested strategies that will remain applicable as we transition into our new normal.
1. Go Virtual
Staying indoors over a period of time can get boring for just about anyone. For most folks, being cooped up in their homes has inspired them to make their living spaces more comfortable while others have picked up new skills. This has also resulted in Malaysians shifting their spending habits to online platforms to meet their current needs, leading to a massive surge in e-commerce businesses during this challenging time.
This trend is expected to continue even after the lockdown is completely lifted as people get accustomed to the convenience of online shopping. This means consumers may easily switch choices if their preferred brand isn’t available online. For brands without strong e-commerce/online presence, this proved to be the pinnacle time to make that transition to digital in order to stay connected with consumers.
Brands such as Nissan and Sime Darby Property, whose businesses are predominantly offline, reinvented the shopping experience by digitising their showrooms and galleries. Aside from merely demonstrating their agility, this also brought convenience for consumers as it allows them to shop right from the comfort of their own home.
2. Pivot with a Purpose
The pandemic has affected people in many different ways across the nation. Brands should take into consideration the challenges people are currently facing and address these needs by connecting with consumers authentically while shifting their bottom lines to second place for the time being.
One notable example is Tohtonku, where a selection of its brands designed a series of livestream events to help Malaysians overcome the lockdown blues and make the most out of the stay-at-home period.
As hair salons are closed nationwide, Ubermen presented personalised hair grooming sessions to help men look groomed, even when stuck indoors. Meanwhile, Nanowhite collaborated with influencers to set up lifestyle talks to help people make the lockdown period meaningful and acquire new skills. At the same time, Nutox launched a series of self-healing sessions to help frontliners ease their mental stress to ensure good emotional wellbeing throughout the difficult time.
3. Always be Visible
This is not the ideal time for brands to go dark; out of sight is, evidently, out of mind. By being visible when most competitors are not and communicating messages building on brand equity, brands will be able to increase saliency.
While day-to-day business operations are affected, brands can provide alternative ways to reinforce and create positive memories as well as associations in the mind of the consumers in a tactful manner.
For example, artists who are unable to perform live shows are conducting virtual musicals or concerts out of goodwill and to raise funds for charity. Meanwhile, Disney is taking viewers on virtual rollercoaster rides with a serving of fun facts along the way. These entertaining, meaningful content kept these acts and brands top of mind while engaging viewers at home.
4. Adapt and Innovate
During these socially distant times, brands should be fast, flexible, and resourceful when it comes to adapting to the changing landscape and new reality. It’s important that brands stay ahead of the curve by doing something different and making adaptations to remain relevant.
As people spent more time at home, the rate of content consumption is at an all-time high. However, with limitations around production capabilities during the isolation period, brands need to look at other creative methods to produce meaningful videos.
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Alternatively, staying top-of-mind for brands can be as simple as exploring the many features of social media platforms. A good example is Rinnai who engaged with its audience by asking followers to vote for their favourite combinations for a dish by using the poll function on Instagram Stories.
Covid-19 has certainly pushed brands to think on their feet and keep up with the fast pace of change in consumers’ behaviours. Some of these changes may continue on and even shape businesses for many years into the future. Hence, this is a crucial time to communicate and demonstrate brand values meaningfully in order to remain top of mind and strengthen long-term growth.
It’s not too late for brands to start taking action today – get in touch with our team and we’ll be happy to help elevate your brand’s digital presence.