Pandemic has led to “CHANGE”. Change in how people used to live their normal lives, communicate, attend function, travel places, meet people as well as their behaviour towards anything significant. Considering the business perspective, it has changed the way brands used to advertise and strategize. It has somewhere led to an inclusive environment where brands are not focussing on “them” or “us” but are going with the specific keyword “we”. They want to depict the fact that we are in this together and the sense of accomplishment can also be done without being competitive, at least from outside.
The coronavirus has reached India some time back and the cases are increasing at a much higher rate. The novel coronavirus has inadvertently lent a premise to various brands to advertise their goods and services. Many brands are using this as an opportunity to establish their effectiveness and value over their counterparts with respect to the outbreak. Initially, when the virus was on the rise, Indians started looking for health care measures for preventing themselves from the virus and there was a surge in the sales of hand wash, face masks and sanitizers.
The best example for this is the “Lifebuoy Ad” where they didn’t use the concept of comparative advertisement where one brand is shown inferior to others. Instead, they chose the other strategy of inclusiveness to create awareness among the masses. In the advertisement, they asked people to use any liquid or any soap that they fight convenient and hence gained popularity by not attacking any rival brand.
In India, people are going for year-old traditional food, dishes and drinks to boost their immune systems. The use of “kaada”, a warm drink made up of various healthy ingredients to cure cold and cough has become a household entity and people are using it on a daily basis.
Businesses have to keep a level of competitiveness to increase their presence but sometimes it is also possible to keep aside the differences and come out together to fight a battle. Coronavirus has changed and is still changing the way we as a human think, believe, expect and follow up. Reimagining the core benefits and core values to the customers that combines usefulness and interactivity is needed. This can help in strengthening of a brand’s innate immunity through this crisis.
Brands need to change their focus that was traditionally aimed at increasing their ‘Share of Voice’ to increase ‘Share of Empathy.’ They will need to create few micro experiential campaigns on social media and other platforms where people will feel more inclusive towards the brands as well as human race as a whole. With social solidarity and a sense of community growing, consumers will naturally look to brands that embrace such values and stand for a higher purpose. Together, everyone is fighting their own battles and it is not the right time to focus on profit, though that will always be the first priority for any businesses but it is time to couple it with empathy and strategize accordingly.
Every brand should keep in mind that: “We are in this together”