Have you heard the phrase, “the new normal” thrown around a lot since the pandemic hit? We’re all looking for stability and a sense of norm, but for those involved in marketing the truth is evident: There is no “normal” right now. Business as usual is non-existent to us and our clients, whether B2B or B2C. Luckily, the latest research proves there are ways your brand can recover from the pandemic up to nine times faster!
Finding ways to connect with your customers meaningfully during a crisis can save your business, according to research. Having looked at over 17,000 brands and over 3.5 million consumers globally and locally, it was found that brands who keep communicating in purposeful ways with a strong narrative recover from a crisis up to nine times faster than other brands!
Experts highlight the importance of continued communication in a crisis. Kantar affirms while the focus of communication efforts will change, it should by no means be stopped. Instead of putting advertising spend on hold, on the back burner, or cancelling it, brands who want to recover faster should adapt the focus of their communication and continue to advertise. If you want in on the healthy recovery process, you can use these insights to boost your business.
Ann Handley, Chief Content Officer at Marketing Profs, insists a clear and unflinching focus on your brand’s story is the secret to standing out from the crowd. Brandz echoes this sentiment in their latest research, pointing to strong narratives that alleviate social tensions as a key element in a brand’s success. Humans are hard-wired to tell stories, and this means the best way to connect with people is through your story.
Stories can make solutions and applications seem more accessible. During a crisis, our stories adapt, grow, and become the conduits to the answers we need. The COVID-19 pandemic presents marketers with the opportunity to address relevant needs with creative and purpose-filled stories.
It’s important that our stories connect well to our organisation’s intrinsic purpose for maximum impact. During the pandemic, meaningful messaging that speaks to the needs of society is infinitely more important if we want to connect with our audience in a deep and meaningful way. That’s why we can’t just keep telling stories in the old way. We need to rethink and reword our story to suit these volatile times.
When adapting your story to the crisis, remember the challenges people are facing are different now. The outcomes are more uncertain. For your hero, the stakes are higher; the struggle is harder, and the resolution isn’t a given. This means while our purpose doesn’t change, and the hero remains the same, we need to change the way we tell the story.
Marketers tend to focus on grabbing attention when creating adverts, but this kind of thinking needs to change if adverts are going to help your brand recover faster. Instead of focusing on grabbing the consumer’s attention, marketers should focus on earning their trust. Customers want to know if you understand their problems the best.
When they watch your story, it will help them decide whether they like you. When customers feel an affinity for your brand and feel understood by your brand, they are a lot more likely to become your loyal customer. This is the power of a strong narrative in your advertising.
With your story, your aim should be to connect on a broader scale with customers to win their trust and affinity.
On 26 March, Pick n Pay shared this video on their social media channels, featuring South African artists and celebrities, to bring a message of community to a country going into lockdown. The punchline? Friends don’t let friends panic buy. Instead of focusing on Pick n Pay sales items, their message aims to address a specific and relevant social tension.
The underlying message? You can trust a retailer who tells you NOT to buy too much to help others. It also embeds the idea of community and standing together to support each other with Pick n Pay. It’s not just about them marketing to you, they’re letting you know we are all in this together. The advert also shows viewers how the brand feels about something, creating the opportunity for the viewer to connect with that emotion.
To stand out from the crowd, you need to do what nobody else is doing. Get creative and do something unexpected. Often, Nando’s gets this right in a cheeky fashion. You can take a message that is commonplace like washing your hands and give it enough spice to make it memorable. The added benefit of associating your brand with a relevant topic can only lead to increased impact.Source: Nando’s
When you connect your brand with relevant themes, it means when people talk about those things, they may just talk about your brand too. Your relevant and meaningful contribution to community during the crisis doesn’t have to be massive; it can be scaled to suit your business and brand.
We love what Aha Media Group in Washington D.C. did. They’re a content producing business known for making language easy to understand and actionable. They rewrote the COVID-19 guidelines into language that is simple. With one small action, they made a huge contribution towards a relevant and socially applicable matter.
How can your brand speak into social tensions in a purposeful way during the COVID-19 crisis?
Interested in more Digital Marketing News? Read more on our Insights page today. All statistics and information discussed in this article is relevant at the time of publishing and may be subject to change without notice.Sources: Brandz; SEJ; Ads of the World;