Key considerations for staying visible and relevant in a pandemic world.
It’s a principle that we talk about a lot at Emberson, but ultimately, no matter what you’re selling, it’s people you’re selling to. Similarly, in this pandemic world, it’s people who are struggling, people who are persevering, people that are banding together, and people who – we’re confident – will ultimately triumph.
This triumph isn’t going to be down to a single grand gesture or moment of success. It will instead be due to the acts of the collective; small acts of kindness and resilience which will cumulatively build until we break through to the other side.
These are the moments we’ll remember when we look back on this time, and these are the moments that, as a brand, you need to be part of.
To get you started, here are four ways to make your brand memorable through simple acts of kindness and positive experiences.
1 Help is at hand
It comes in a lot of different forms, but what we’re seeing from customers, employees, partners, communities and even nations is a focus on ways to help. This might be taking the time your business can’t run as usual to think of new uses for your business’s capabilities that can make a positive impact, or just providing an even greater service to your customers to ease some of the other pressures they are experiencing.
Here are some of the best examples we’ve seen of this in action:
- Sports retailer Decathlon donated its total stock of full-face scuba masks to hospitals1
- F1 teams responded to the UK government’s call for assistance with the manufacture of medical devices2
- Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts are taking care of New York doctors and nurses, so they can sleep close to work3
- Vodafone is lightening the pressure with free unlimited data to customers4
2 No strings attached
In normal times, content is often seen as a transaction. Something of value is provided –insight, advice, experience or entertainment – in exchange for something else; this may be data, leads, sales, or views (with associated ad revenue). Now is the time to remove any conditions previously attached to your content and give something back. Create content that is relevant, helpful, appropriate and, most importantly, free from strings. You may not see a return on it now but consider it an investment in future customer relationships.
Provide content that’s valuable to your audience on topics that your company is known for and are experts in. Give your audience something that they didn’t perhaps know before and ask for nothing in return, just give.
Here are some of our favourites:
- The TV show Taskmaster launched #hometasking to spread some joy and entertainment at home5
- Joe Wicks The Bodycoach is keeping the nation active by providing live free exercise videos for children, adults and the elderly6
- The Isolated talks is a collection of people who have donated their time (and thoughts) to help raise money for the Samaritans7
It’s also worth mentioning that this is a great time to experiment with channel. 51% of Generation Zers have reported they’re consuming more online video than before the pandemic8, and this translates across other generations too, with 44% of millennials and 35% of Gen Xers following this trend. There’s also increased interest in livestreams, so why not give something different a try? Be visible where your customers are – whether that’s online: social, LinkedIn, email and don’t be afraid to fail. If you’re asking for nothing in return then you have nothing to lose.
3 Shine a light
Don’t shy away from showing some personality. Your business isn’t just talking to people, your business is people, and now’s the time to tell their story too.
Show some of the lighter side of your business. Celebrate what your people are doing to make things better for themselves and their communities and show how these things represent your brand values. If you’re not sure what your people are doing, perhaps now is the time to ask? Engaging positively with internal teams is just as important as focusing on external audiences to ensure your business emerges with strong relationships all-round.
This can be anything from tech innovation to the every day. In Jordan, refugees built a Lego robot hand sanitizer9. Innocent smoothies are using their staff in social feeds to highlight ‘boredom busters’ which also raises money for Age UK and encourages viewers to submit their own ideas10.
If you want to see some of the small acts making a big difference to our team, then check out our own ‘little things’ campaign on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/embersongroup/
4 Look to the future
Finally, no-one knows how long this pandemic will last, but to stay positive we all need something to look forward to. Everyone has had their fill of those ‘unprecedented times’ statements, so let’s steer the conversation onto looking toward more positive times.
To get you started on a grand scale, here are some inspiring ways countries will help the planet when coming out of lockdown:
And here are some of the things people are most looking forward to as we head back to normalcy. As you can see, it’s not the big things like travel that people miss most. To go back to our earlier point, sometimes it’s the little things that make the biggest difference11:
If you want some ideas about how your business can help, ways to show personality, or simply fancy a chat, give us a call. And of course, there’ll be no strings attached.