The word we’re hearing over and over again right now? Unprecedented. As marketers are settling into their new normal – some shifting to fully remote environments – there is still a lot of uncertainty around what is next. The biggest question we hear from our peers and clients is, “How do I speak to my audience and continue to market my brand during a global crisis?”
In our last webinar, we spoke about how brands and influencers should respond in the age of COVID. Similar to best practices pre-pandemic, genuine and authentic relationships will carry brands through this. While we may not know what is in store after the dust settles, we do know this time is critical for brands to maintain authentic relationships with their audience. As in any other crisis, consumers take note of how brands handle themselves and the situation. These actions can continue to reflect on the brand far after the crisis has been handled.
With increasing numbers of people in need and healthcare professionals on the frontlines of the virus, we are seeing a growing trend with brands using their reach to support those affected by the pandemic.
Here are ways brands are staying engaged while staying true to their audience and core values during this “unprecedented” time.
One World: Together At Home Concert
Recently, Global Citizen and Lady Gaga organized a virtual concert to support the World Health Organization and promote social distancing. The One World: Together At Home concert raised over $128M to support healthcare workers.
Following their participation with the global, online concert. Coca-Cola launched Coke Studio Sessions to build on the momentum and continue to raise money for the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. These sessions will go through the summer and feature 100+ artists across multiple platforms.
Games and Giving
It’s not just big brands like Coca-Cola getting in on the social good action. Jackbox Games, a video game publisher based in Illinois, has been keeping people connected with their suite of online party games. To support various non-profit organizations handling the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic, they are hosting weekly game sessions with guest stars in their Games and Giving series and donating $100,000 each week to the featured charity.
With the brands that sell products and goods – several are donating their products or manufacturing to help the cause. Healthcare workers across the country are facing shortages in personal protective equipment like gowns and masks. Brands like Under Armour and Wantable are using their apparel brands to manufacture and collect masks for the frontlines.
After a national hand sanitizer shortage, consumers were creating at-home recipes for hand sanitizer using liquor like vodka. In response, Tito’s Vodka educated consumers about the insufficient levels of alcohol in vodka to be considered an adequate disinfecting solution. Following that, the brand shifted their production lines to help mass produce hand sanitizer that met CDC requirements in alcohol content levels.
Staying Social From A Distance
Technology brands are doing what they can by using their talents to keep people connected. A great example of this is Zoom, an online meeting provider, lifted their restrictions on their free accounts to enable educators to continue to teach remotely. From hosting happy hours to maintaining workplace meetings – Zoom has become a staple for many trying to maintain connectivity while we follow social distancing guidelines.
Brands like Facebook, whose core mission is to keep people connected, have also released video conferencing features to enable video chat by integrating WhatsApp with their existing messenger technology.
Fortnite, one of the biggest online video games, launched Party Royale to keep their users engaged and continue to promote the virtual hang-outs occurring in the game. Party Royale featured different artists performing live.
What is your brand doing to stay connected?