How should responsible brands behave in the aftermath of Covid-19?
The impact of Covid-19 is just beginning to unravel. Nobody knows the ‘endgame’. Is it a drug, a vaccine, tests or a period of continued lockdown?
It’s a period of uncertainty. The P&L projections for 2020 that you drew up are meaningless. And it is impossible to make any projections. The virus seems to be in control. The virus will determine what the future will look like.
Since everything on the ground seems to be coming to a standstill, CMOs and senior marketing professionals are contemplating what to do. How to navigate this uncertain future.
At this time, any responsible brand should just stand by its consumers. You may wonder, how, and to what end?
The very first thing you should do is to listen. Listen to your consumers who might be asking questions, seeking information and guidance on how to safeguard themselves and their families.
Everyone, including your brand & marketing teams, should be on standby. After all, this is an apocalyptic emergency!
By actively listening and responding to consumers, in general, you’d be able to alleviate some of their concerns. Any help during such trying times would be a significant help.
Your help, advice or guidance could be directed towards:
- Consumers who do not direct their questions to your brand, product or service but to anyone who could help – make a genuine, informed effort to help consumers.
- For those consumers who come to your digital assets to provide feedback or ask questions – be available to respond immediately.
- Walk the extra mile to assuage the concerns of your consumers. Be transparent and explain why you are unable to help if you aren’t able to. People will understand.
- Show intent to help and actual delivery. Lip-service using a “canned” response is not the need of the hour.
Great brands survive upheavals with great resilience because they have the consumers’ best interest in mind. They form bonds that endure recessions. Consumers rally behind such brands after the clouds scatter.
Great brands also listen to their employees and others in the ecosystem. And in times of chaos and uncertainty, brands become even more actively available to resolve issues, as best as they can.
This is such a time. It is a ‘black swan’ moment which we’d all remember for a long time. The brands that stand by the consumer, actively listen and respond will be remembered for decades.
So, dig in your boots and be available, with your ears to the ground. When the Covid cloud disappears, you’d find that your efforts have earned your brand tremendous goodwill and invaluable equity.