How do brands need to adapt?
Tone of voice is crucial
Empathy is key. You must be respectful of the situation. Many people are suffering, and many businesses are, too. Meanwhile, some brands are having huge surges of demand. We spoke to a packaged food brand manager recently who said that sales were at a record level, particularly for snacks and comfort foods. Other brands in less fortunate sectors are facing huge losses.
Whatever your situation, you must show that you care and back it up with deeds. It is of no use to say you care and then carry on as you were previously.
Think about the balance between informing and entertaining. In the early stages of the crisis, informative content has been key. As we all self-isolate for weeks and weeks, will the balance tip back towards entertaining your audience?
Don’t forget to review the imagery you are using, too. We have watched some programmes and ads in recent days where the characters are embracing or even just shaking hands.
Determine your approach to topical and evergreen content
Right now, it is almost impossible to create engaging content that is not respectful of the New Normal. Have a look at your previously published content. Is any of it now inappropriate? If so, take it down. Then have a look at the content that you are in the process of creating. Is now the right time to promote that message? Don’t be afraid to divert from a created content programme – these are unprecedented times and how you handle them will be remembered by customers for months, if not years, to come. Changing course is sometimes necessary.
Reconsider your customer insight
Great content comes from truly understanding why your customers behave as they do and knowing how you can change their behaviours. What are people searching for in Google now? Has that changed? What content is being viewed on YouTube, Twitch, Instagram and TikTok?
Customer insight is derived by researching the triggers and barriers that drive purchase decisions. Have those rational and emotional triggers and barriers now changed? It will largely depend upon your market sector and target audience, but we would be amazed if there is any industry where insights remain unchanged. You must adapt quickly.
Think about the media mix
Finally, consider your channels. What media are your audience consuming? How has that changed? Ads on public transport and major road networks aren’t being seen by as many people as previously. Many of us are installing new apps and streaming services.