Communicating Your Brand During A Crisis
* Case Study : Covid 19 & Brands In Nigeria
In a serious crisis such as the epidemic which the world is facing right now a.k.a Covid 19, each member of your audience/community are more than likely to receive and process information differently. This is why communicating your brand, businesses, products or services may pose a challenge at this time.
Many small business owners are faced with questions like; is it okay to sell my wigs during this crisis? How will my customers feel if I continue business as usual? What is the best way to reach out and keep my brand as top of mind? What type of content should I put out in this period? The list if you will agree with me, is endless.
Working in the PR sector has given me more understanding of the need for businesses to communicate with their customers and target audience frequently and consistently. Over the past few days, I have had conversations with entrepreneurs, business owners and creatives in various industries who are finding it very difficult to create and communicate effectively, for fear of being perceived as insensitive or their content, out of place.
I do not have all the answers, but based on my personal and professional experiences, I believe the following suggestions will go a long way in answering the questions above, from a consumer/customer perspective.
1. Stay Consistent
Imagine if Emzor decided to stop selling paracetamol and started sharing information about the statistics of the effect of the pandemic like how many new cases we have daily? They would lose existing customers to other brands of painkillers, and at the same time find it almost impossible getting their audience’s attention on their daily news updates on the virus.
Stay true to your brand. It is okay to continue sharing information on how your body butter will improve you customer’s skin. Believe me, it gives them something to look forward to after the crisis is over. I’m sure you have seen people post those memes talking about how they will no longer be cancelling plans to go out after the quarantine? Imagine if all the lounges and restaurants started posting about the numbers instead of focusing more on content that promotes their brand.
Do note that this doesn’t mean you can’t chip in content that encourages people to observe proper personal hygiene and safe practices. Please feel free to.
2. Focus On The Future
I believe that this is a great time for your business to share some future plans with your community. When you do this, you indirectly give your audience hope that everything will be okay even without saying it. It shows that your business is built for longevity. It shows that you are positive and optimistic, and humans like to be around positive energy. It also shows your customers/clients/community that you have faith that they will be here when everything is over. Not to sound too spiritual, but i’m quite positive that nobody wants to die just yet.
3. Be Human
You remember those days when you schedule posts to go out at a certain time just so that Instagram can confirm that your account is still active? Those days are far gone! You need to engage with your community now more than ever. Let them know that you read their messages/comments, respond genuinely, have conversations (meaningful positive ones that is…)
This is not the period to put out content just because. Focus on impacting people with your content. Will it make someone smile? Will it give them hope? Will it inspire someone to start something new and exciting? Appeal to their emotions, they are human, and so are you!
Finally, if you do not have to send out any communication during this period, and you are positive that this will not affect your business, then refrain from putting out content. So many people/brands are talking and need to be heard. Give them the room to do that effectively, and give their message a chance to reach the exact person that needs it.
By: Bibi Miangogo