Coronavirus and marketing: How to look after your brand and plan for the future
Having been in the creative industry for over 45 years we’ve seen many ups and downs in the global economic landscape. After the 2008 recession it took the UK economy five years to get back to the size it was previously. And with predictions expecting Coronavirus to take its toll, some companies will look to batten down the hatches – but that’s not how we see it.
It might feel out-of-place to discuss brand values and customer behaviour amid the current situation, but businesses need to plan to drive demand like never before.
So while you should, of course, be taking the safety precautions recommended by the World Health Organization and the NHS seriously, in terms of your business – it’s important to think long-term.
Here’s our advice on how to look after your brand during COVID-19.
Plan for the future
If there’s anything on your to-do list that you haven’t had the time to complete yet, now’s the time to get it done. You could also use this time to:
1. Update your content inventory
Consider the types of content you should promote and how you can adapt your strategy based on previous campaign results.
2. Plan advertising campaigns
3. Perform administrative tasks
4. Perform a website audit
If you are planning to write evergreen blog posts, change website content or add new product pages to your website, now is a good time to get this content together.
And if you need help using your Content Management System (CMS), take a look at our WordPress guide.
5. Refine your strategy
6. Try something different
Similarly, spending more time at home will drive potential customers towards digital forms of information and entertainment. So to ensure your audience is hearing from you regularly, get your shop online, increase the rate of messaging across email and social media, and make sure your website is up to date with your latest business information.
Bloc Family member Bloc Digital is also working with businesses and the local community to keep them connected as staff members work from home. So for help with setting up remote operations, get in touch to see how they can help.
- Don’t act oblivious to the situation – if you have campaigns in progress that don’t fit the tone of the moment, rethink your strategy. For example, the clothing brand ASOS appeared to still be advertising ‘chainmail face masks’ to customers on Twitter.
- If you’re in a position to do so, do offer help and advice. The food chain Pret a Manger are currently offering free hot drinks to NHS staff to thank them for their efforts in tackling the virus.
- And if you’re not sure about your marketing messaging at this time, don’t take the risk.
Remember, the world is watching
Whilst the likes of Levi’s, Lush and Apple are reassuring employees that they will be paid even despite store closures, Virgin Atlantic has asked its 8,500 employees to take eight weeks unpaid leave.
Virgin have spent years defining their corporate brand values as ‘supportive’, ‘respectful’ and ‘proud’, and behaving as though their “employees come first”. But in the space of a few months this work has been undone – customers are now fully aware that employees come last at Virgin.
So the lesson is this – now’s the time to really make those brand values count. In the face of the coronavirus crisis, look after your brand as well as yourself, your family and your employees.
And if you need any additional advice, remember we’re here to help.