COVID-19 and Brands On Trial
In this period of COVID-19, it is crucial for brands to know what is the right way to connect with their consumers and when is the right time to sell.
To uncover what that means and offer pragmatic strategies, Realeyes hosted recently a virtual unconference on “Brand Advertising Leadership during COVID-19.”
Our guest speakers:
Change in consumer sentiment: Realeyes research revealed that consumer sentiment in certain industries has changed, leading to a decrease in positive reaction to brand advertising (32% decrease in smiles). Meaning that it’s more important than ever to connect with your consumers and keep measuring. To know more about our research, click here.
Automotive ads’ insights: With the automotive industry being the first to pivot their messaging, Realeyes research revealed that consumers are receptive to brand advertising, not selling. In fact, Ford came out top player out of the 6 automotive brands tested. Ford used black and white iconic imagery, low word count, no voiceover and themes of endurance and sustainability but overall, of a heritage in helping get through world wars. When, on the other side, the others brands’ messages intermingled importance of family and employees, as well as commitment to consumers, with a product pitch putting forward technical features of their product. Meaning that know more than ever, it is time to be different, to be bold and stay close to your consumer. Full Report available here.
Stop hiding: Brands need to stop remaining silent or risk being completely irrelevant in 6 months' time. This is the time for brands to do the painful work and figure out their role and purpose in this crisis and start predicting the new “normal”.
Adapt your purpose: Now more than never brands need to step up with interesting mission statement and align their strategies with the new “normal”. Brands are focusing too much on the “what” and “how” but they need to focus on the “why”.
Use a helpful tone: Brands need to approach the COVID-19 situation more humbly by showing the consumer what is their way of “doing business while doing good” with internal measures such as providing safety procedures to ensure health and safety of their employees (e.g Walmart) as well as with external measures such as mobilizing their production to help, hospitals and consumers, get more masks, medical coats, hand sanitizers or even respiratory aid equipments (e.g Decathalon, LVMH, or Zara).
Increase your media spend more than usual: Brands like Walmart, Amazon and Ford have gain customer favourability as they increase their media spending and at the same time updated their messaging. COVID-19 makes it increasingly more important for brands to understand emotional connections to every piece of content that is produced. COVID-19 is the time for brands that were down and out, to become relevant and respected again by gaining new relevance and importance in the consumer’s mind (e.g Heinz).
Informed leadership: Businesses must look at their marketing budget and take action using facts. Hope is not a strategy and businesses need to know their interaction field if they still want to be around in 6months’ time. Businesses who have informed and servant leadership might have a chance to survive through this crisis.
Brand leaders must adapt to a changing, new normal and answer many strategic questions along the way. Companies that stay close to their consumers and remain intelligently present will be the ones most likely to survive and thrive in the new normal of COVID-19. For more details on our discussion, click below to view our full video session.