The COVID-19 may have wreaked havoc on business but it provides opportunities for brands to leave lasting impression on consumers. Businesses that rise up to offer support to their communities by providing motivation, sharing safety information, or donating food and treatment equipment will build positive emotion that will generate new consumer base and drive loyalty when the lockdown is over.
This is the insight provided by Joe Holder, an Instagram influencer and fitness trainer to UK supermodel, Naomi Campbel. Of course, Holder understood the consumer psychology, having carried out extensive marketing stunt to influence the millenial to purchase brands such as Nike and many more.
Pitching for the consumer mind through overt selling ads isn’t the best thing to do right now. It is nauseating at best, considering the rate of fear, death and mourning being aired across news channels daily. In fact, the World Health Organization (WHO) said last night that the number of people infected with the Coronavirus reach a new milestone of 1 million in the coming days.
So who is going to listen to marketing jingles and cheer creative content pitching exquisite tourism views in Nepal, buy ‘hassle-free 2-get-4 tickets to Newfoundland’, ride on the latest Toyota 2020, or upgrade to latest iPhone?
Such creative are presently out-of-tone. They are insensitive. It may invoke public anger, generate hatred against the brand.
So what should business brands do?
Joe Holder said, “It is about how we can help our communities. You ‘ve got to pull up and serve; give people information – you have to be there.”
“This will eventually pass, but you really need to be there to offer support, to offer something of use to another individual”, he advised.
The lockdown has put business revenue on hold. Consumer spending power has been halved. Fear is mounting. Government is seeking ways to help citizens and small businesses stay afloat now and after the disrupting pandemics.
Amist decline in economic activities, smart brands have turned their marketing communication efforts around. MTN Nigeria, Ecobank, DSTV, and Ford have adapted their ads to encourage the public to #StaySafe. UBA, Access Bank, and Innoson offer monetary donations to revamp health facilities that cater to isolated cases. Personal brands (politicians and artistes) are also extending philantropic gestures by offering foodstuffs to communities affected by lack of economic activities.
This shouldn’t be limited to big and medium businesses. Do you want to create lasting impression?
Psychologically no one forgets those people or organizations that help them get through crises. The #Law of Reciprocity says ‘when you offer something of value to someone, he or she will feel obligated to offer something of equal value in return’. That is the opportunity.
True friends are made for tough times. If your customers can’t feel your impact through this lockdown they may not take you seriously when it is all over.
So do these, at least, if your small business can’t offer monetary or material support:
- Share motivating messages across to your client/ customer base to help them keep strong at this time
- Offer tips and updates that will help safeguard your clients’ health or manage their finances at this time.
- Use portals such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or SMS to push your messages