How Brands Can Build Love And Loyalty During The CoronaVirus Outbreak?
“People may forget what you said or what you did, but they will never forget how you made them feel”. That is why when fear and unwanted negative emotions take control of the mind, if brands cause any bad experience or feeling due to their profit-driven activities, they may lose their customers forever. On the contrary, if brands successfully impress their target audiences by social supportive contribution, this can be a turning point for a significant breakthrough after the pandemic ends.
It time to focus on long-term strategy rather than protecting short-term profit
When the market stables, it is very competitive to gain a strong position in the customer mind, especially if the business is new or has a limited budget. However, during the global pandemic threats, how brands attempt to deal with the crisis now can shape the customer views beyond.
Think of your behavior when buying medicine, for example, which is the first drug store that pops up in your mind? Pharmacity might never be one of your top 3 options. The reasons can either be the price or the unfamiliarity while compared with nearby stores. But when almost all major drugstore chains chose to stop selling facemask to protect the short-term profit as the stock price kept growing day-by-day, Pharmacity made the right move by stating that it would do anything to maintain the available stocks as well as the selling price. As a result, this brand not only won the audience’s preferences but also successfully pinned in their audience’s mind that ‘Pharmacity always sells products at the affordable price’.
Similarly, ABC Bakery was another case that won big during the first phase of coronavirus outbreaks. By helping the farmer who could not export the dragon fruit to China because of the border closure, not only did this brand go viral, but it also successfully attracted new customer segments.
If the brand building has proven beneficial for business during the worldwide turmoil, how can we take this chance correctly?
3 things that we can do in this immediate present
In challenging times, it is important for the business to rely on the branding strategies outside of the offline channels such as OOH, activation events. However, it is also an opportunity to gain the trust of the customer as well as improve brand love with the much lower budget by:
Use the brand root strengths to helpfully solve the community’s current issues
During this global crisis, what influence brands have also caused a bad impact on the surrounding community. Therefore, if a brand can use its unique strengths or position in the market to help the community release the common problems, it can be the optimal way to make your brand visible. Let’s think of what Pharmacy and ABC Bakery have done, if you can effortlessly go the same route, then just start with your plan.
Besides, free services that are supported by technology are also another recommended approach. Alibaba, for example, has built a new platform to help directly connect the worldwide medicine supplier with frontline medical personnel.
Be helpful with your content marketing strategy that centralizes on audiences
Inbound marketing is another strategy that should be highly focused if your brand has developed a skillful enough in-house team. The reason is people always look for help from the brands they love. So if you can create a personalized and supportive content during this new normality, it is much easier to gain their trust.
Apart from the useful contents which prioritize coronavirus topics, you can consider expanding your content pillar toward what they also need when being bored as working from home. For example, they can do various things like doing the whole skincare process, exploring the new cooking recipe, and learning how to stay fit at home. Considering every aspect that can connect to your brand and customize your experiential contents, the emotional links between you and your audience will gradually be established.
Minimize the pandemic negative impacts on your staffs
Apart from your customer, you should think a little bit of employees – who directly suffer from your business interruptions. Instead of suspending or partly cutting off the employee wage to alleviate the cost pressures, if still possible, let’s consider paying full salary for your employees even if they are not working during this period. Or at least, please pay the minimum salaries to help them assure the cost of living. For those who still stay at work due to the job requirements, paying higher wages can be a strong motivation to help them overcome this hard time.
This not only demonstrates deep care of the brand to its community but also strengthens the connection between your business and employees – who will refer their friends and tell the world how supportive the brand is during the crisis.
To sum up
The pandemic outbreak is the sensitive time that must be cautious when executing your marketing plan. A long term plan adjustments to adapt to the current situation is needed, otherwise, even if your brand offers promotion for hygiene products, it can be seen as self-serving.
In the short-term, branding strategy should only focus on CSR and socially supportive activities. Besides, it is noted that only highly-relevant brands, which can be connected with 24 hours work-from-home-behavior, should be visible during this time. Food, medicine, insurance, fitness equipment, etc., for example, can take advantage of this chance. Luxury brands and other categories like tourist, hospitality or other kinds of entertaining services, in contrast, may not be suitable to promote right now.
If you need a little guidance for marketing as well as branding strategy during the pandemic crisis, or you are not sure about the fitting budget for an upcoming plan, do not hesitate to connect with us any time to find your new way to deal with this situation.
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