The sanitary emergence is not over yet, but we can certainly see how consumers’ habits have strongly changed.
Brands have to face a new challenge: understanding and adapting to the new scenario, helping people accept a new lifestyle: staying home.
Let’s see how they’re doing that.
Worries, suspicions, hope: these are the moods that animate the private sphere after the burst of pandemic and that are conveyed through social media by tons of users.
In addition to facing an economic crisis, companies don’t have to lose track of one of their main assets: consumers, whose buying behavior may vary depending on several components, including the emotional one. The latter has strongly influenced the final purchase decisions in the last few weeks.
We only need to think about the initial panic reaction that moved many people to assault the super- and hypermarkets, as revealed by an IRI survey, which we spoke about in a previous article.
How can a brand convey its own message and values in this historical period, without falling into wrong associations and staying true to your brand identity?
According to a survey carried out by Kantar Media with a global study including 25,000 consumers, 75% of interviewed people expect from companies that they do not gain leverage through their frames of mind and their feelings and the current situation to sell their products.
In the same way, 40% think that humor, at this moment, should be avoided.
However, communication must continue its regular path; more than that: being always connected has moved users to pay particular attention and be reactive about what brands promote on their main channels.
A winning example of communication and suitable for the context comes from NIKE, which has expertly leveraged the latent dream of every sportsperson (playing for millions of supporters, expressed through the claim “if you ever dreamed of playing for millions around the world”), conveying in the form of a challenge (“Now is your chance”) not only the message “stay home”, but also the call to continue playing at home (“Play inside”) for a much more important cause (“Play for the world”).
Through this campaign, the company wanted to express its nearness to all sport lovers, promoting training at home through the Nike Training Club, app that includes plans of personalized exercises, yoga and much more.
And this is all completely free. The result? A real boom of visualizations and success of the service.
Attention to the context, respect of regulations, listening, empathy. NIKE did not overlooked nor disregarded expectations of its own consumers, on the contrary: it has succeeded in communicating in full respect of its own brand identity.
Once the new scenario has been understood, it is necessary that companies reorganize the client’s experience, since priorities have changed.
On the one hand, users need not to feel alone, to be calmed and to use their time in a proper way, especially on the web.
The research conducted by Kantar Media, moreover, shows that consumers expect advertising campaigns to have a positive impact on today’s society.
Over 70-75%, indeed, wish that companies tell how their brand can be useful in this new, forced routine, and about the efforts they’re making to improve the current situation; moreover, they expect a proper use of the tone of voice, which they wish to be comforting.
So brands are redefining their communication, involving more influencers (asset with an increasingly important role) and focusing on entertainment.
With the campaign #RipartiamoDaCasa, IKEA accompanies consumers in their life at home in a new way. By means of tutorials and tips posted on the main channels, it suggests how to reorganize spaces and have fun in the family at once. In this way a simple table placed in the living room and used above all for convivial moments can become the proper workplace for smart working.
The companies of the cosmetic industry interact with the female audience offering online make-up sessions, live coverage with well-known make-up artists and free delivery.
Pupa, for example, provides hints about how to recreate a SPA at home or what are the best tricks to have the right glamour touch even when you work remotely. The message is: let’s take care of ourselves, also at home.
What about the role of influencers? They are authentic content creators, sometimes unusual for the messages they convey. According to BlogMeter, the communication between brands and influencers is becoming key to generate authentic contents.
They speak the same language of users, they are on the social channels where their targets spend most of their time, they can tell stories, entertain and inform the audience in a proper way.
An example is given by Chef Alessandro Borghese: from recipes published to Instagram live streams, he presents himself to his audience in a new way, launching the very popular #PigiamaChallenge (36,000 interactions).
A new scenario is getting more and more defined, and brands need to adapt their communication to generate new value.
Consumers’ buying habits will change: it will be a more conscious and reasoned purchase, as people will pay attention not only to the canonical factors such as the price and the use of eCommerce, but also to the sensitivity that brands have shown to convey both positive and entertainment messages during the health emergency.
Users will choose products following this reasoning, while they will move away from all the brands that have been trying to make their business grow exploiting fear and worries, or those that preferred not to adapt their editorial plan to avoid wrong associations.
This crisis will inevitably change the customer-brand relationship; users want to feel part of a wider project, of a community, and they wish that the nearness felt in these months remain constant in time and for the future generations.
Empathy, effective communication, transparency and loyalty to their ethics; brands must accept this new challenge if they wish to build new value and be remembered as top of mind.