In the age of Covid19, there is no more business as usual. Your brand’s marketing strategy needs to reflect this. Here’s what to do now.
Now, yesterday, last week. Because the winds have shifted, and we are not landing where you thought we were.
(Alas, you’ve acknowledged that internally already, likely having made staffing decisions to reflect a new reality.)
So let’s just stop and recalibrate.
First thing to do is stop what you’re doing, if what you’re doing includes sending emails out like:
New sandals for Spring! Or
25% off home furnishings!
Much as I love you and your sandals and your sofas, really, this makes you look
Especially against the backdrop of the rest of my inbox / social feed.
The darker side: Stories of people being laid off. People falling ill. People scared to go to work who have to anyway. Friends trying to advise disconsolate students. An urgent call for masks, ventilators, paracetamol, and the inevitable toilet paper. General confusion.
The brighter side: That people are trying to help! That we’re organizing support networks in our local communities. The online gatherings to cheer up our friends.
At a time when people are isolated more than ever, but also more dependent on each other for our collective well-being, we need to level with each other.
Continuing the pre-programmed sales pitches will leave a bad, lasting impression.
There is nothing more uncanny than opening the door to the cockpit and seeing there’s no one there. No one wants to see the inside of a robot, especially when it otherwise meticulously reflects your tastes and uses your name. Whether it’s the The Sandman or Westworld, you’ve seen this story before.
The only solution is:
When you’re shouting against the wind, you just say what’s necessary.
Help if you can; acknowledge regardless. A lot of companies have done a great job of communicating simply and directly their gratitude to their workforce and their customers at a time of serious disruption. They share their efforts to keep the wheels turning. Consider this simple message from See’s Candy, or the honest social media posts from Delta Air Lines.
If you haven’t done this already, do it now.
If you’re working remotely due to COVID19, state that in your email footer.
If you’ve got sandals and sofas to flog, acknowledge our situation and how they are relevant. (Do they bring comfort (like this John Lewis scene) / cheer / convenience?)
And if your product or service just isn’t relevant or available right now, tell us that you still are. Tell us you’re here, you care, you’re battening down the hatches, and you’ll see us on the other side.
No one knows what will happen, and the landscape is changing—but we’re all still here, and we’re in this together. Now stay home and wash your hands.