Now's the time to give some brands love back
- Industry Trend
Sharon Richey is founder and Global Managing Director of Because. She’s an award-winning entrepreneur, a passionate business mentor, and she believes that great things can happen when we work together to help others.
To help curb the acceleration of the Coronavirus pandemic, a new set of restrictive social distancing measures were announced by the British government this week.
They've asked that people do their best to avoid close contact. This means working from home, keeping children out of schools and day cares, avoiding all but essential travel, and not going to pubs, restaurants, theatres and so on. Basically, the British nation is housebound.
Camping out in your home may well be fun for the first few days. But fast forward a week, and the reality is surely going to be different. Kids will be climbing the walls, parents will be about ready to run away, the lonely will be even lonelier and the vulnerable, even more vulnerable. Spirits will start to wane.
Suddenly that long awaited spring our nation always eagerly awaits, and the summer many have been looking so forward to, has a pretty dark cloud hanging over it. And we have to acknowledge the impact that’s going to have on the British psyche.
Many businesses and brands are in crisis mode. Everyone’s just doing what they can to survive. We’re all learning to adapt to ‘the new normal’. But what’s important, is that we come together and start doing what we can to ensure our nation survives.
As corporates, we have a responsibility to respond to this crisis. No matter what issues we may be facing ourselves, we have to find it in our hearts to look outwards. But there’s an exceptionally fine line brands need to walk between capitalising or profiteering on the Coronavirus situation, and demonstrating genuine care and value. I’ve banked with NatWest for almost 22 years, and received this today…
“As your Premier Banking Manager, I want you to know that I am personally doing all I can to help my clients, like yourself, with many difference aspects of their financial lives. And sometimes, it can mean having conversations we don't want to have. We're all creatures of habit and one thing we always do each year is review our home and car insurances. However, we don't really tend to review our life insurance policies. Odd, isn't it? Ask yourself, can you really say you're 100% confident your cover is sufficient since you took it out…?
It's more important than ever to review and update our life insurance policies - not only to check we have the right level of cover but also the most competitive pricing. At NatWest Premier, we're here to help:”
Distasteful, or what!?
Now is not the time to spend your rainy-day savings (if there is still such a thing) on increasing your media push. If you do this, tread with caution. Brands seen to be profiteering off a global disaster could well be hung out to dry. Now is the time to put your brand’s purpose and values into practice, get creative, and do something relevant and meaningful with your marketing money.
There are already some amazing examples of this type of on-the-pulse thinking starting to circulate: LVMH - hand sanitisers production line, our client Woolworths – changing hours for the elderly so they can buy essentials, Pornhub - free porn for Italy (LOL)… to name but a few.
So, ask yourself what your brand could be doing to make this period of isolation more bearable for the people. Could you use innovative technology like blockchain to entertain bored kids and relieve frustrated parents? Could you partner with a delivery service to drop care packs off for the lonely, to make them feel less lonely? Is there a service your brand could offer to the vulnerable to make them less vulnerable? Show your valuable customers you care during their time in need.
The spread of COVID-19 is a very real, and a very frightening situation. There’s no doubt this period of self-isolation is going to have a big impact on the British people and businesses (big and small alike). But there are many, many ways to make isolation less isolating. It won’t be the plan you had for your brand this year, but I can guarantee you that if you put a little brand love into your next move, the chances are, true brand love will prevail forever after..
Amazing things happen when we work together.