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How You Handle This Crisis Will Impact Your Brand’s Image

Written by Courtney Raguso, Social Media Content Creator

It all comes down to what you do next. 

As the pandemic continues, self-isolation has become a main aspect of our lives and brands are heading back to the drawing board. Times are tough right now, and fear and uncertainty is causing many of them to make decisions which will either lead to their success or an uphill financial battle. Here, we are talking about long term results, and now is not the time to be frugal. If you do not have a strong online presence, you will find it much harder for your business to recover. People will remember the brands that handle this crisis well, as well as the ones that don’t. However, they will also forget the ones with a weak online presence or none at all. In fact, more creative agencies are experiencing a lower demand for its services, while more than half expect to see demand continue to drop over the next few months. With the economy hurting and unemployment rates increasing, consumers are reluctant to spend and clients are pulling back on budget spending. However, this is not the time to pull back on digital marketing efforts. Online traffic has been at a record high, and it’s vital that your brand stays relevant and top of mind. The world is watching, so make sure you take the time to strategize before you act.

It’s not as simple as you think, and you need to tread very lightly and have the right balance between talk and action. There’s a right way and a wrong way to communicate your message, as well as a proper time and place. Choosing the right form of brand behavior in today’s socially conscious environment and political climate is not as simple as it may seem. Times are changing, and even though the coronavirus will pass, social media and online communication is here to stay…but it will keep evolving. 

It is obvious that pursuing digital avenues has enormous potential. A strong online presence should be an essential part of your strategic plan and can work for any business in any industry. Regardless of what your company sells, digital marketing still involves branding, understanding your audience’s needs, and creating valuable content. Now is the time to show your brand’s true colors and come across as relatable to your audience. Offer them help, advice and do what you can to make their lives easier. Be relevant and adjust your media, messaging and touch points, but remember to stay on-brand. Talk is cheap, and people want to see action. If you don’t live up to your brand values or promise, your audience will resent you. Don’t exploit the issue. Don’t use heavily discounted, promotion-based offers in favor of delivering brand credibility, consumers will think you are using it as a cheap marketing ploy for making up for loss profit. Thanks to digital communication tools, there are many ways you can provide valuable content and connect with them on a deeper level. Just remember that your brand now has the opportunity to be proactive, demonstrate its transparency and thought leadership. Now is the time to really activate your brand’s purpose. Consumers are bombarded with options today, what makes you think they will want to choose your brand out of all your competitors? The value you offer them.

What are brands doing?

As our world changes, so do the rules of online marketing, and you will have to put some effort in if you want to make the right impression. While many brands are making budget cuts and pausing campaigns, others are finding ways to play their part and get involved. Of course, most have spoken about caring for their employees and communities, pledging that they are putting health and safety first for their staff, consumers and community. Some brands are all talk, but some do walk the walk. As the virus spreads around the world, so does a trail of misleading misinformation. Major tech companies such as Facebook and Twitter decided to join forces with health organizations including, the World Health Organization, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to help clean up false information regarding the virus, and promote authoritative, accurate content, sharing updates in coordination with government healthcare agencies around the world. While some are focused on fighting the spread of “fake news,” others are offering new forms of entertainment and giving aid to the community. For instance, some brands are picking up on the struggle of staying home and are providing creative ways to ease irritability. Instagram is partnering with Netflix on a new initiative to provide help and support for mental health among young adults. Tinder is promoting social distancing by giving all their members free access to their Passport feature for the rest of the month, which allows you to connect with fellow members all over the world. Defected Records is hosting a virtual music festival, inviting house lovers to tune into the live show from Ministry of Sound. Distilleries such as BrewDog and Current Spirits have also ventured out and found their comfort zone, producing hand sanitizer. Skincar

Although 8% of consumers think brands should stop advertising, many brands are still holding back. Brand health becomes vulnerable when companies stop advertising, and doing so will cause long-term detriment of the brand and its image. So, stay on top of it. Marketing in the online world is going to play a major role in running a business. Coronavirus has affected every sector and industry, including marketing, public relations and social media. A strong online presence and strategy is what you need to rise above the noise.  e brand L’Occitane has been sending hand creams to hospitals to help healthcare workers soothe their hands. Lyft is responding through their LyftUp campaign effort to expand transportation access to all and provide free rides to those who need them most right now. This is the time to get creative and these brands have all demonstrated just a few ways they can do more for their community, while staying on-brand and relevant. With the right strategy, your brand can be seen as a thought leader; and that’s what gets people behind your brand. 

At MSM DesignZ, we are focused on bringing purpose to your brand. At times like this, when customers are highly sensitive and responsive to the moves of brands, corporate social responsibility is a strategic investment for the firm. We value the importance of embracing technology and enhancing connections. From choosing the right form of brand behavior to executing it at the right time, we can infuse real meaning into consumers’ relationships with your brand. We are assisting in all areas for our clients. Visit our contact page at https://www.msmdesignz.com/contact/, and we’ll work with you to devise a custom plan that will keep your brand alive and well. We look forward to working with you!  

 

Sources

https://www.marketingweek.com/brand-purpose-coronavirus-crisis/

https://www.marketingweek.com/marketers-delay-campaigns-coronavirus-fears-escalate/

https://www.socialinsider.io/blog/covid-crisis-communication/

https://www.socialmediatoday.com/news/the-evolving-discussion-around-covid-19-and-how-brands-have-responded-info/575769/