As we continue to navigate this new normal, from outdoor dining, to distance learning to mastering Zoom calls – one thing is clear, COVID-19 has changed many of our day to day routines. It also has changed how people buy and behave, as well as how they listen. Consumers have become accustomed to insincere messaging and certain buzzwords, as brands continue to tailor their messaging due to what is going on in the world around us. Brands need to continue to adapt, be creative, but also remember that their true and loyal consumers that have stuck around for the long haul have stuck around due to their authenticity. Brand Strategy has never been more important than now. According to market research from Twitter, 64 percent of respondents said brands should continue advertising products as normal in COVID-19. Consumers look to the brands they love to find a sense of familiarity they once were accustomed to. As we continue to pivot – brands need to remember to stay relevant in this new normal we are living in.
As a Top PR Agency in Los Angeles, we have quite an extensive background when it comes to offering creative services & solutions, social media marketing, to crisis communications. We are always strategically building the story, finding white space, and of course continuing to help brands succeed in elevating their brand messaging across a variety of platforms.
Below are just a few ways brands can continue to deliver, be relevant and stay true to themselves as we brace for what else 2020 has in store.
Creative stunts & campaigns that keep you top of mind
The media landscape has been chock-full of noise and negative impact stories, that it’s been tougher than usual to seek out a glimmer of positivity. It’s important to remember as a brand it is your duty to remind the consumer they are not alone. Recently, Bud Light rolled out their latest hiring tactic “seeking a CMO” – not just any CMO, but a “Chief Meme Officer.” Bud Light did a swimmingly great job at breaking through the noise and finding a way for their consumers to relate & laugh. This Chief Meme Officer would be paid a $5,000 a month and put you in the running for a three-month supply of the brand’s newest hard seltzer. They stayed true to their witty humor as a brand, and used it as a strategic tactic to continue to get their Bud Light Seltzer product out there – I don’t know about you, but I for one, might just be converted to a Bud Light Seltzer drinker now.
Additionally, with the NFL season underway starting on September 10th, a true game day experience is going to look quite different this year. The Pepsi team got creative and launched their latest sweepstakes that will deliver “Tailgate in a Box” to football fans who are looking to keep the football culture alive despite restrictions on gatherings related to the pandemic. Pepsi is a brand that is always pushing out PR campaigns that make you feel like you need the product, and they continue to do just that with their latest stunt. With their over-the-top (but truly on brand) stunt, the package included a 16-square-foot tailgating box that comes equipped with an outdoor projector, custom cornhole sets and a variety of Pepsi products.
As a public relations firm that specializes in digital & brand strategy, it is our duty to continue to help our clients thrive in this current state of the word and show their consumers they care. Over the last few months, we have strategically worked with our clients to push out campaigns that will resonate on a bigger level so they can continue to tell their story. Back when the pandemic struck, Sky Zone, the indoor trampoline park that’s home to dozens of kids’ birthday parties per day, wanted to continue to give back to families who still wanted a party while staying at home, so they shifted their focus to virtual birthday parties. This move not only offered parents the benefit of a hassle-free party, but it also gave Sky Zone a way to keep employees working during business closures. We have also seen quite the influx of Zoom users, so we have held more “virtual” cooking classes, desk side meetings with editors and more for our clients so that they continue to build an authentic relationship with their consumers.
Use empathetic language & humanize your brand
How you say things is everything – whether virtually, in-person, through a text message, it truly matters. Nothing is more frustrating than communicating with a robot and that same scenario applies to your everyday consumers. Everyone is experiencing heightened anxiety, hardship, and a greater sense of mistrust due to the pandemic. Don’t be the brand who puts out the same statement as every other brand out there and opt for cliché messaging – it won’t land with your audience and will be an epic fail. Acknowledge the new conditions that pop-up in your own brand words, as that is what your consumers need from you right now.
Take Ben & Jerry’s for example. Through the ups and downs that 2020 has brought they have stayed true to their mission and brand goals to continue to educate their consumers through their social media channels. Everything they put out there whether through a media statement, an Instagram post, their message is cohesive and empathetic to their audience. They choose to speak person-to-person to establish a rapport with their consumers rather than a blanket statement that would read tone-deaf. It’s all about continuing a dialogue.
Continue to solve day-to-day needs for your consumer
The business landscape has clearly seen better days, however, brands need to remember that their experiences, successes and learnings are still valuable for their everyday consumer. Consumers tend to use a product or service repeatedly because it solves a “problem” for them. If the problem does not exist, then your product will not be used. From the content that is pushed out on your social channels to the media stories that you are placed in, make sure you are positioning your brand as the solution. Whether that means being a healthy snack that is convenient for busy parents – tap into the landscape & current headlines. With kid’s distance learning and being at home with their working parents more than ever, convenience is something we all need. If you are a brand that has solely operated as a remote brand, tap into that. Offer valuable resources that your team has implemented to continue to thrive in this work from home setting. Never forget about your brands core messaging & solution you bring to the table.
While staying relevant as a brand is no easy task in this day and age, sticking by your consumers sides is a piece of cake.