If you’re sick of corona content, I don’t blame you. I actually found myself reading an old book about endangered species the other day to take my mind off things. It was kind of cool until I found out that most of them were dead. This abrupt realization brought me back to the status or our own species, who, like the Bornean Orangutan, may be at risk of extinction.
Now, when I talk about matters of virology, I cannot claim expertise nor insight. And admit that my dialogue surrounding the topic can be hyperbolic and punchy at times. That being said, I encourage you to take what I say with a grain of salt and an acceptance of sarcasm that we as content curators operate with consistently.
What I do take seriously, in addition to the health and safety of our fellow citizens, is the sustainability and resilience of the brands and businesses that compose our diverse marketplace. The brands and businesses that help keep the lights on in people’s homes and their children fed during a time when they need it most.
So yes, this is indeed another piece of content that to some extent will reference the incredibly toxic and deteriorating effects that the coronavirus has sprung upon our society. But more importantly, this will discuss the impact that the virus has had on companies and how you can make your brand during this time more or less, “pandemic-proof.”
Making Your Brand Pandemic-Proof
If the content you consume is more business-centric rather than mainstream click content, you’re probably very aware of the beastly fall-outs being experienced by businesses across every industry. You may even be experiencing them yourself. But what you might not know, are all the ways you can bolster your business to avoid a post-apocalyptic meltdown and the liquidation of your company.
Now, when I say we can make your brand pandemic proof, there are some limitations. For example, if this virus is part of God’s punishment to us for treating our Earth so poorly, and He summons some giant tidal wave that ends up capsizing your manufacturing factory, you may be sh*t out of luck. Our drainage capabilities have to do with moving inventory, not seawater from the Atlantic Ocean.
However, according to my tidal wave radar, there are none near. So you’re in luck. But in regards to this current predicament we have on our hands, with COVID-19, things are a little bit more real. And if you’re a business owner, then I’m sure things are starting to get very real.
Luckily, you’ve got us as a digital marketing and growth agency to help guide you during these troubling times and come out on the other side alive and breathing.
Lend a helping hand
The first option every brand should consider during this time is charity. Brand development aside, helping out and providing assistance in a time of need is something all humans and corporate entities should be prompted to do, despite the promotional benefit it may or may not have.
However, if you can make a difference while simultaneously amplifying your brand, then why not do it? The most important thing you need to keep in mind is that what you’re doing is authentic. If your audience can tell that you’re just riding the charity wave to improve sales and make yourself look better, then your intentions will do more harm than good. You have to think about what really matters with what’s going on and how it relates to your brand.
A perfect example is Allbirds, a shoe company that is offering a free pair of their wool runners ($95 shoes) to all the healthcare workers serving on the frontline. Or Bandcamp, a music platform that waved their fees for 24 hours so musicians and artists who promote their music on their site receive all commission. As you may or may not know, musicians, artists, and performers have also taken quite a gut-punch with this whole pandemic. And as creatives ourselves, we can’t help but feel for them.
Allbirds and Bandcamp are prime examples of how to conduct charitable acts in a time of crisis that portrays authenticity and an actual level of care for humankind. While the companies might not see immediate returns, you can bet that when all this is over consumers are going to know who was there for them when they needed it most.
While lending a helping hand would be our first recommendation, another avenue you can pursue is the “wash your hands and get back to work” method.
We’re clean, we promise
The companies that are choosing to remain open will most likely release some statement about how they intend on changing operations in some form or another “to ensure the health and safety of our employees and customers” etc., etc. See below for an example from retail giant Fashion Nova.
Hey Nova Fam,
As the world begins to feel the effects of COVID-19 we’re making some changes to how we operate so that we can truly focus on the safety of our employees and all of our amazing customers.
Our distribution center has always followed strict hygiene practices that are adhered to every day, however, we have placed additional steps for sanitization and hygiene including social distancing protocols from our leading medical experts to ensure a safe environment for packaging & shipping.
The good news is we are still open for business on FashionNova.com and on our app 24/7 as usual. All shipping methods including overnight and 2-day are on time with order arrival dates displayed at checkout! (We know how important it is to stay lookin’ fresh, even during quarantine.) We’ve got you covered for every virtual business meeting, sexy mirror-selfie, movie lounge time, at-home dinner dates and quarantine TikTok’s.
And that’s great. We’re glad that you’re reminding employees not to sneeze on each other and wash their hands. But what’s lacking in this statement is the authenticity mentioned in the previous section.
You’re practicing social distancing. Fantastic, so is everyone else. What else are you doing? Why is it important to you? This message hastily gets to the point that their online store is still open, which makes you question their true intentions behind this post. Is it to keep us safe and informed? Or to keep their cash register ringing?
Luckily, for retailers and eCommerce stores, people are bored at home with nothing to do but scroll their feed and continue shopping. So if your business is in a similar situation, messages like the one above will certainly help your case. Just make sure what you say conveys a genuine level of care for your customers, not just their money.
While many stores are attempting to remain open, others, either by necessity or choice, are closing entirely. Whether or not it was their decision, there are strategic ways to make your exit graceful.
The Bow Out
While closing business hardly seems like a strategic marketing venture, in times like this, you may not have a choice. But even when you have the option of remaining open, shutting down operations can have many beneficial outcomes.
The first one is that you’re displaying a very clear commitment to the health and safety of your customers, employees, and citizens in general. You’re putting the wellbeing of others ahead of those of your company, your income, and yourself. An all-around good guy/girl move that will score some points for your brand. The key here is communicating the reason why your closing in an engaging and genuine way. Something that a skilled copywriter or PR specialist can help you with.
Another reason why closing down can be beneficial is that you now have the time to enhance and amplify different parts of your company. Business owners often find themselves overwhelmed with running their company that they’ve lost the exploratory ability they once had as a young entrepreneur.
Start doing advanced product research to expand your offerings. Redesign your website. Get your employees to take some sort of skill advancement or technical course so they come back even better than before.
Get back in the workshop, back to the drawing board. Some of the greatest solutions known to man wouldn’t have been made possible without the problems that prompted them. Use this time to find new ways to engage your audience and different forms of content that you might not have used before. You never know what might end up working and sticking after this pandemic is over.
The important thing to remember is that this will be over eventually. And when it is, you can either start cramping up and folding over from being inactive for so long or come out the gate sprinting.
Everything you do now will impact what things look like on the other end. So whatever method you take in an attempt to make your company “pandemic-proof”, make sure it’s the right one.
If you’re not sure what to do or where to start, let us know. The only thing we have more of than TP, hand sanitizer, and quarantine tequila (quaranquila if you will), is crisis marketing strategies. So get out of your PJs, wash your hands, and let’s get started.