The coronavirus has led to massive shifts not only in the way companies are doing business, but the way people are living. Being in touch with how your customers are feeling and the current challenges they face is always important, but now more than ever, businesses need to be cognizant of what they are putting out into the world. While awareness for your brand is always important, during a pandemic is it imperative your brand also shows awareness of the current climate. Here a few tips to make sure your brand avoids the pitfalls of a world dealing with a global health crisis.
One of the simplest and best ways for brands to stay in touch with their customers is making sure their updated hours and capabilities are readily and easily available. This information should be front and center on your website and social media accounts. The pandemic has caused many businesses to drastically change how they are doing business. Keeping your customers and clients informed of any business changes (including hours of operation) through emails and social media posts can help them plan their work with your business.
During crises, people look for the best in humanity. Companies showing how they are helping others — or willing to help with their unique skill or service — is a topic your company should embrace, being mindful not to come off as bragging. By posting your efforts, you keep your brand relevant, and provide positive reinforcement for doing business with you.
Related to “Helping Out,” this is another extremely important tip for any company to consider. Even if your business offers a product or service that can be extremely beneficial to other companies or people, businesses cannot come off as too eager to sell or greedy in a time of mass need. Intentional or not, any brand that is slapped with the profiteering label is awaiting a PR nightmare and public backlash that is extremely difficult to come back from.
Brand messaging has both text and subtext that influences a customer’s opinion of the brand. As the world evolves, the language we use moves with it. Just because something was completely appropriate several months ago doesn’t mean the context for the message hasn’t changed. Even decades old, tried-and-true standards for companies need to be reviewed to ensure that messaging hasn’t taken on a new meaning when circumstances change. For example, many food and travel companies have had to change relatively innocent brand messaging that has become insensitive and inappropriate seemingly overnight.
An important thing to keep in mind as you navigate through this new world is that businesses are in this together. Businesses across every industry are experiencing the additional pressures, stress, and unknowns that comes with fighting COVID-19. Realizing we are all in this together can help us pull together and keep everything running as smoothly as possible.