The current pandemic has indeed created an uncertain atmosphere around many businesses. It has forced companies to carry out layoffs, budget cuts, and even close down multiple locations – all in a bid to stop the financial bleeding.
Despite there being some holdout brands that have managed to buck the trend of unpaid layoffs and indefinite leaves, an increasing number of brands and businesses are taking this option by the day as the effects of the pandemic bite harder.
Boeing, for example, after stalling for a few weeks following the first lockdown in the US, decided to systematically relieve more than 10% of its total staff size, with its executives predicting that the company will become even smaller as it restructures ahead of the perceived future of the airline industry.
Thinking Beyond The Sale
This article was never about telling you what is currently happening – you probably already know all that from watching the news. In the following paragraphs, we are going to examine a few tips that if followed, should help brands weave their way through these tough times and maintain optimum brand relevance into both the immediate as well as the far future. But first, a little preamble.
So, you’ve made it this far into the year afloat – bravo! If you notice that your brand recognition and engagement levels with your customer base have taken a hit, it’s probably not entirely your fault. You see, people are just not interested in buying new things outside of essential commodities. This has meant that companies that sell products that fall outside of the essential category (even in the slightest) have had to cope with sales numbers that are a fraction of what they used to be.
So, What The Can Brands Do To Stay Relevant?
As discussed in the previous section, maintaining a solid brand image in these times begins from thinking beyond making sales and profits. The current pandemic has seen to it that a large number of brands will barely break even in the first half of this year – and so profits are probably out of the question. With that out of the way, here are some tips to keep your brand in the minds of consumers now and into the future:
Move your brand marketing efforts online: This might sound like a no-brainer but it is really important. If your brand had only one foot in the digital space, it’s time to go all in. Consumers and people, in general, are indoors these days but more importantly, they are always online. There are a large number of eyes and ears glued to the internet and leveraging this opportunity is crucial to post-COVID brand relevance.
Reassure your online audience of the steps your brand is taking during this pandemic: From implementing safety precautions at offices to making contributions towards relief funds, community projects, and other humanitarian endeavors, use this time to buy some meaningful brand goodwill by showing your audience that as a brand, you are contributing in some way towards alleviating the collective pressure during this period.
Employ a comforting, empathic tone in your marketing communications: People want to feel that brands understand their unique plights during this pandemic. To do this, make sure to employ a tone that is empathetic of what the world is currently going through. Let your audience know that you exist in the same dimension as them and surely, they will gravitate towards your message.
The past few months have been a time of introspection both for brands and individuals. Brands that can create meaningful bonds with their audiences that surpass the superficial, will see their relevance soar post the current pandemic.