Of course, when getting in the mood to write about these issues, it also helped to receive emails from every company I’ve ever given my address to, telling me and thousands of other subscribers how deeply they care about what we’re going through?
At the same time, many brands are also falling into the trap of “virtue signaling,” with so many of these emails going on and on about the health and safety of their employees being their top priority, which is why they’ve implemented home working policies.
In doing so, you could actually enhance your brand image by demonstrating empathy with what customers are going through.
Firstly, review all current messaging and channels to make sure that what you’re saying isn’t tone-deaf to the current situation.
If you’re in ecommerce, particularly selling products that may be of high value in a crisis – think garden, toys, or hobby products, for example – it may simply be a matter of checking there’s nothing that could be deemed insensitive.
Make sure customers know whether you’re open for business and how you’re navigating any issues.
If there are restrictions on what people can buy, make sure they know what they are and why they’re in place.
Also, make sure your messages are aligned across different channels.
Almost every company has sent emails to customers explaining how they’re addressing the crisis, but most contain no useful information.
If you’re going to communicate, make sure it’s relevant, and use the opportunity to differentiate.
Put helpful information at the top of the email where most people are likely to read it.
For example, I received an email from my bank a few days back that started by encouraging customers to use its online banking portal and listing out all the services that can be accessed online.
Which piece of information will people likely care about more.
If your company or staff can and is doing something to address the crisis, then make sure this is at the forefront of your messaging.
For example, Lush Cosmetics ran an excellent campaign early in the crisis, encouraging customers to come in store to wash their hands.
Amid stories that some suppliers have hiked prices on essential protective equipment and disinfectant product, consumers will be heavily deterred from any brands attempting to profit from the crisis.
The coronavirus crisis undoubtedly means that brands have to think carefully about how they position their message during these times
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