The economic effect of the coronavirus has posed serious challenges for many of the world’s biggest brands. Some have been applauded for their subsequent responses, while others have quickly fallen foul of the public. Amidst all the uncertainty, misinformation is rife. And consumers are more sensitive to content than ever before.
As a marketer, traversing this situation is like walking a tightrope: we have a responsibility to keep customers, employees and the community safe, while simultaneously facing a need to minimise damage to brand reputations and avoid falling out of consumer consciousness.
To be insensitive to the mood of online communities is to risk being perceived as opportunistic at a time when companies should be anything but. To say nothing is to become irrelevant when brands have an opportunity to add value. The question is, how do you effectively communicate when there’s no rulebook for this time of crisis?
Quick-thinking in any crisis will get your brand ahead. Before shops began to close, high street toiletries retailer Lush was offering passers-by the chance to wash their hands in-store for free. In doing so, Lush was able to demonstrate that they truly understand the needs and preferences of their customers, adding value and putting their consumers before the brand bottom line.