It’s fair to say we never expected 2020 to pan out the way it has. Living and working through a global pandemic, undergoing a lockdown, and pressing pause on business activities was something most brands didn’t plan for, leaving them grasping at straws to overcome it all.
It can be tempting for brands to go into cost saving mode in times of crisis, and quietly weather the storm. But there are a number of ways brands can engage with their customers and maintain a presence during the Covid-19 period.
So as Malaysia enters recovery mode, and as more restrictions are relaxed, brands have to adjust and find ways to deliver relevant information to customers during this period of heightened anxiety.
Below are some tips on what brands can do to adapt and stay ahead of the game.
It’s a good time to examine the situation and assess how your audience’s priorities and expectations have shifted – and what you can do to meet their changing needs. Listen to what customers are saying on your social page, tune into the online chatter about other brands, and keep an eye out on what your competitors are doing.
This can help give you valuable insights as to where your business stands during this “new normal” and what you should do. By keeping an ear to the ground, it will help brands to identify new consumer moments to establish a brand connection with customers, without being opportunistic.
IPSOS research found that self-isolating homebound consumers are finding ways to stay connected and communicate with others during lockdown. Some of the popular topics of discussion during the “new normal” include how to manage mental health, celebrating life events virtually, and finding activities to do with friends online. These trending conversations have led brands to reevaluate their campaigns and find new ways of engaging with their customers.
Explore new channels to meet consumer needs
With new standard operating procedures and regulations in place for businesses to follow, it may be necessary to pivot your business and explore new channels to promote your brand.
Mutant can help brands pivot their business model to align with new regulations. Singapore-based brewery Trouble Brewing found themselves in a bit of, well, trouble, as bars were forced to close during Circuit Breaker, stripping them of their customer base overnight. The brewery had to switch from a B2B to D2C business quickly, to maintain their growth momentum and remain relevant.
Within 24 hours, Mutant helped Trouble Brewing establish an online D2C business, by setting up a completely new eCommerce platform and creating the entire digital strategy to push this new platform and get orders rolling in.
Overall, Trouble Brewing received 20.3 times return on ad spend with the digital marketing campaign Mutant had set up. They also sold an incredible 200 cases of beer straight to people’s doors in 48 hours after going live!
Be empathetic and offer comfort
Covid-19 has impacted several businesses and individuals, and it’s important that brands recognise this toll. Many customers are looking for guidance and stability and your communications strategy and campaigns can offer that. Speak like a human with real empathy to try alleviate some of the negative feelings your customers may be having.
Be vocal and don’t stick your head in the sand. Let your customers know you’re there for them.
Companies can also respond to the pandemic by helping communities through CSR initiatives like donating food to shelters, supplies to hospitals, or essentials to needy communities.
In fact, Mutant helped to carry out a CSR initiative for Kimberly-Clark Malaysia by liaising with the state-run health clinics and the Federal Territories Ministry to donate essentials to families under Enhanced Movement Control Order (EMCO).
Residents affected by the EMCO are not permitted to leave their homes and are reliant on donations for food and essential items. Kimberly-Clark wanted to lend support to these families by donating 20,000 packs of Huggies diapers, 5,000 packs of Kotex feminine hygiene products and 5,000 packs of Kleenex tissues to help 16,000 families affected by the EMCO in Pusat Bandar Utara and Selayang.
Kimberly-Clark’s initiative was not only a good CSR initiative, but it was also in line with the brand messaging and vision of the company. Kimberly-Clark’s vision is to lead the world in essentials for a better life, and they delivered this vision by donating essentials to those who need it the most. Remaining faithful to your brand values is key. It is fundamental that brands don’t lose sight of those values.
At the end of the day, there’s no playbook for how to deal with a global pandemic – it’s new to all of us. But it is important for brands to continue their marketing and public relations efforts to stay competitive and maintain their share-of-voice in the market during this RMCO “new normal”.
Need help pivoting your campaigns during the “new normal”? Contact our team of PR, content and branding professionals at firstname.lastname@example.org.