The current global crisis has spawned an uptick of brands expressing themselves and reaching out to their customers and communities. Of course, every company has a different intention for what they’re trying to express, and each has their own end goal. Most companies are notifying their customers and clients of the status of their internal operations and store hours, some are offering discounts, and others are reaching out to provide help in whatever way they can. Yet, if you’ve checked your email inbox recently, you’ve seen one or two outlier brands that are being pretty questionable with their tactics. Here’s our thoughts on some of the top pandemic don’ts for brands:
Rethink Your Coronavirus-Themed Sales Specials
While the pandemic is certainly a very prominent event, it’s not a season or holiday. So you probably shouldn’t do an “Everything Must Go Coronavirus Blowout Sale” (which is happening believe it or not) offering your customers a 5% and 10% discount for the next couple weeks or months – people will recognize this is a marketing plan to drive more sales. If your brand is going to offer people a discount, make it 50%-70% off or free, something that people actually see as a sacrifice for the greater good. Check out this Forbes article to see some of the most popular brand initiatives. These are huge brands, so it’s probably a financial hit they can take, but the point is if you are going to offer a deal, make it a big one.
Please Refrain From Using The Giant Virus Image
Oh dear, the COVID-19 virus under microscope image…it seems to have overtaken the internet in the past couple months. It’s become the focalized, unofficial icon of the internet, being featured in social media posts, news stories, emails, you name it. Are brands using it’s fear-inducing nature for the sole purpose of garnering more clicks and eyes? Either that, or they think it just makes sense to use the virus image because it’s the most obvious choice. We recommend steering clear; this image has become all too repetitive and rest assured that people are sick of seeing it. Think up something new and don’t let your visuals be confined to that ugly looking thing!
If You’re Not In Healthcare, Don’t Go Heavy On Health Advice
By this, we don’t mean that your brand shouldn’t remind people to follow the CDC guidelines. Please do push people towards social distancing, safer-at-home, handwashing, etc., but if your company isn’t in the healthcare sector, you probably shouldn’t be offering the more advanced medical advice. In the current health crisis, the source of truth should be the companies inside of the medical science and healthcare community.
Also, the internet has seen a surge of fake news in the past month and your brand should really offer advice in your field of expertise. In tech? Offer tech advice. In Fitness? Offer fitness advice. It’s not to say that the health advice you have to share is not accurate, rather, now’s the time to let the healthcare professionals and medical researchers give the most important updates and direction. Medical companies are the sources people are looking to, and as the saying goes, don’t let there be “too many cooks in the kitchen”.
Don’t Let Your Audience Forget That Your Brand Exists
There’s a lot going on around us, plain and simple. Breaking global and local news, new regulations being updated, families being affected, and not to mention a general sense of worry being felt around the world. It’s important to still give your brand some TLC amidst the chaos. Stay active, or get even more active on social media, write some relevant content to share, record those podcasts and videos, but don’t just stop like a deer in headlights.
What if your business currently can’t sell its products or provide its services? The least you can do is to keep getting your name out there and let people know what you’re up to in the down time. It’s not the best idea to let months of inactivity pass with the hopes that when the world returns to normal, people will jump right back to you. Yes, there is a pandemic at the forefront of daily life, but, the brands that keep an active presence will come out better on the other side.