The COVID 19 pandemic’s impact on the world is unprecedented. And because this is a health crisis of biblical proportions, it has now become an economic crisis that is threatening to cause recession across regions. Indeed, countries across the globe have downgraded their economic forecasts.
Philippine economists are already looking at a growth of 4 percent down from the previous forecast of 6 percent. This can even be lower if the lockdown is extended. Across the globe, trillions of dollars are being earmarked as stimulus packages to ensure that small businesses do not lay off employees.
In the midst of a crisis of this magnitude, budget cuts are being made. As always, advertising and communications budgets are the first to go. However, is this really wise? Is cutting communications budgets the right thing to do because consumers are not buying? Sadly, no. This is one of the most common errors companies make.
This may have dire consequences for brands in the long run. Brands that cease communications will cause it to be lose share of mind. As all crisis passes, it will lose the race for share of wallet.
So, how can brands continue communicating their equity in the face of this crisis? Luckily, unlike 20-30 years ago, there are a multitude of platforms to be utilized. The key is to re-evaluate your strategies in light of the crisis and re-calibrate it.
For instance, if you are heavy in online portals and broadcast, you can shift your programs to fit social media platforms. Or you can utilize a select number of brand influencers to communicate your messages. It will be important to see which platform will suit your brand’s category.
Instagram, Twitter, or even TikTok can be used for lifestyle brands. Or perhaps use certain lifestyle influencers’ social media assets as your communications vehicle? For corporate brands, social media platforms like LinkedIn can be considered. Or you can use your own personal LinkedIn page as a marketing communications tool?
Bottomline, brands or businesses that keep the conversation going with its audience will find it easier to rebound from a slump because the affinity between their audience and the brand/business was maintained.
It’s like a relationship and as with any relationship, continuous communications make the relationship between people stronger. It is no different between brands or businesses and their customers.
The COVID 19 pandemic and the accompanying economic crisis are cycles in our collective lives. And like all cycles, these will pass. Relationships, however, are what keeps our society together and what makes it resilient. It gives us the strength to bounce back stronger than before. The same can be said with brands and their consumers.
Image Source: Adweek, Veterans Today