How Should Your Brand Move Forward During the Coronavirus?

By Carli English
A.K.A. Copy Commander

These are strange and scary days for all of us. Businesses around the world are taking a hit as the economy has slowed to adapt to our current, global pandemic lifestyle. Marketing is even more important now than ever, but there is a fine line to walk, leaving many of us with more questions than answers.

While some companies are ramping up to meet the unique demands of our situation, others are left wondering what they can do to keep their brand from getting lost in the chaos. Even though a sale might not be your top priority right now, there are still ways you can move your brand forward in the midst of COVID-19. Here are some general questions to ask yourself that can help guide your marketing strategy over the next few months:

Have governing bodies placed restrictions on your industry?

Let’s start with the basics. There aren’t many industries that haven’t seen massive change in recent weeks. You are probably well aware of the rules and regulation shifts in your sector and it may be enticing to continue on as usual. This is a temptation every business has to overcome, as now is not the time to go against government recommendations and mandates.

Many companies are finding ways for employees to work effectively from home. If your brand is not essential, you need to show support for social distancing and set the right example. Your customers will respect you more for making the responsible choice – and will hold you accountable if you do not.

For a list of essential services see the link below:

https://www.ontario.ca/page/list-essential-workplace

To stay active, or not to stay active…that’s the question (and one we are all facing).

 There is nothing wrong with maintaining a brand awareness during this time, but sensitivity is the key. The landscape is changing every day. Acknowledging that can show your brand is ready for anything, though it is important to always have your customer in mind. Is what you are saying helpful in this current climate? Ask yourself, how can I support my target audience through this time? Focus your marketing efforts on that.

How Should Your Brand Move Forward During the Coronavirus?

Any content you put out needs to be reflective of the present moment, not the past, or what you think the future will look like. In a word, stay RELEVANT. We are all in this together, on a ride that doesn’t have a set, final departure date yet.

Stay respectfully active, be present, and show that you have been here every step of the way.  Going dark may give the illusion that you don’t care (while losing brand awareness), so keep up the good work and continue connecting with your customers.

How should you portray yourself?

Keep your messaging simple. Be real. Show how your workplace has adapted. Be open and honest – there is nothing to hide because we are all in the same place. If you are not fully operational, let your customers know that.

LISTEN: Your biggest asset is your ability to learn from the other brands around you. What are you seeing that is meaningful? Take A&W as an example. Their heartfelt “thank you to our front-line” was recorded with only a phone, and it hit home in a big way. You also need to listen to your customers and the general world around you. What is happening TODAY that should impact the message you are sharing?

ADAPT: Your customers want to know how you have adapted your day-to-day. How have your products changed to be more inclusive of social distancing? Have your services shifted to meet current needs? What are you doing NOW, and why does that matter to them?

BE SENSITIVE: This is a complex statement and looks different from business to business. While there is no strict “right thing to say”, there are a few guidelines to keep in mind. Don’t cause a panic, and don’t come across as if you are seeking to profit from these challenges. Focus on how you can be just a small part of the solution.

Simply tell your story…

Marketing always was, and still is today, about telling your brand’s story; the narrative has just shifted a bit. Ask yourself this. Are you helping in some way? If not, can you? Not every business is equipped to assist in a big way, and that’s okay. Just doing your part to keep your employees safe is something your target audience wants to hear about.  Every single company, business, and brand has been effected by COVID-19 in some way. Share your story. Connection is more important now than ever.

So with this in mind, we want to tell you…TDG Marketing is still here. We want to help you, in whatever way works for right now. Because we are all in this together. That’s the message we want you to hear.

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