Businesses will soon engage customers and stakeholders in the post-lockdown world that’s still full of caution and uncertainties. How to build and express your brand when you can’t really plan ahead?
Here’s what PRecious’ communication experts have to say on this subject.
Embrace the situation and talk about it
At the end of the day, there are only that many possible scenarios for brands to consider with regards to timing. Either their industry is trending – like video conferencing or food delivery, it will take a while before it recovers – including the likes of travel and hospitality, or it is in a systematic decline like fax servers.
So if you can’t plan ahead, you’re most likely not alone in this situation – your competitors, partners and most importantly your customers are sailing in the same boat. Embrace the situation and talk about it. It’s time to focus on the core of your business proposition and what it means to your key audiences.
Times like these are a potent reminder to focus on why your brand matters for your stakeholders. And though the tactics might frequently change to adapt to circumstances, the overall strategy and messaging should not vary much. The constant compass of your activities should be whether it helps to strengthen your relationship with existing customers and new prospects in the situation they are in. Take them as your benchmark and how your brand can add value to them now and in the anticipated future.
Contributed by Lars Voedisch, Founder and Managing Director, PRecious Communications
Provide more reassurance to your stakeholders
One of the takeaways from our very first webinar – in partnership with independent investment bank North Ridge Partners – was that in times of considerable uncertainty, people don’t need to be pitched to, they need to be reassured. What this means for brands to remain sincere, they need to move away from product-led promotional messaging towards providing more reassurance to their community of consumers, employees and partners. “We’re here for you, despite the present climate, to help you feel better, to make the situation more fun, and to take control of your new normal.”
Besides some alterations to messaging, brands also need to think of channels. There is no doubt that marketers are challenged in the face of slashed budgets. As things pick up, careful consideration needs to be placed on the gradual resumption of operations. Consumers are in front of their computers all the time now. Brands need to be visible, and so marketers need to prioritize budgets around awareness and discoverability online. Even in a crisis, good products with bad marketing tactics won’t go that far.
Contributed by Prayaank Gupta, Head of Growth & Innovation at PRecious Communications
Creativity is needed to cut through the noise
In every situation, there is still an opportunity to plan. While it is true that planning ahead during normal times can be met with fewer roadblocks, independent of whether the nation is plagued with different forms of crisis, one cannot neglect the importance of forward planning.
Building brand affinity does not happen overnight. During uncertain times, it is more important than ever to connect with your target audience for the simple reason that consumers align with brands who care and can articulate in a familiar language that reaffirm the values that they bring to customers. The key is to avoid selling messages and using the USP talk.
Employ the use of owned and earned content more during this period. Owned content ensures that you still have control over the messages that you want to bring across while earned content through trusted media titles builds heightened trust with stakeholders. Of all channels, social media is one that is likely to experience an exponential uptake due to the practice of social-distancing measures put in place across the globe currently. Creativity is needed to cut through the noise to get your messages across.
Contributed by Robin Chang, Regional Head, Client Advisory at PRecious Communications
Focus on your core reason for being
Showing relevance and timeliness is an essential component of any communications campaign, and this is especially important in the midst of a macro environment where uncertainty abounds. Nobody knows how the way we live, work or play will change or how the health situation will play out. Instead of focusing on this uncertainty, in their communications, startups should focus on their core reason for being: the larger problem they are trying to solve, and how they can ease those pain points today.
This is, of course, something that innovative companies are experts at – they already talk about how they can make their customers’ business or personal lives easier using their solution in their pitch presentations, or investor decks. This same approach can be used in their branding campaigns.
Contributed by Clarence Lim, Client Services Director, PRecious Communications
Authentic and transparent communications will help
COVID-19 is radically and rapidly accelerating the digital future. As the world slowly sets foot outside their homes, technology brands will play a massive role in building that digital bridge to the new normal. However, it’s essential for technology brands to ditch the rhetoric and take actions that are consistent with one’s brand values and capabilities, map new customer journeys and make their brand more relevant to customers and other stakeholders, than ever before.
Technology, for consumers and clients alike, is also an experience, beyond utility and value. In these uncertain times, even post-lockdown, new experience scripts will need to be written by technology firms to rediscover one’s audience. While content will continue to be king in these times, brands need to speak the truth. Authentic and transparent communications will help create a credible and lasting brand voice and purpose.
Contributed by Rajiv Menon, Client Services Director – PRecious Communications
Inspired by this post? If you are a startup or a corporate and are looking to build trusted relationships with your key audiences Get in touch with us to expand your brand awareness. Let’s push the creative boundaries, together.