19th May, 2020

Insights here for you

If I see another variation on the “we’re here for you” email, I swear I’ll cut the plug off my internet. How many ‘COVID-19 update’ messages does it take to drive you nuts?

So many brands have jumped on the bandwagon and sent out the same vacuous email, but how many of those are actually thinking about you? And how many are companies that took your email address two years ago and haven’t sent you any meaningful communication since?

There is greater scrutiny on all communications right now. In most cases, I don’t believe the “we’re here for you” approach is really connecting with people. It’s high time brands stopped being there for us — if you’re not offering value to your customers (and I don’t mean a promo code for cheaper stuff), then you might want to review your messaging and rethink the strategy.

At Beyond, we are encouraging our clients to continue marketing their products and services — keep your channels alive with new and interesting content — but think about people, not profit. There are some categories where demand is greater than before this crisis began, and in many cases we’re advising brands to increase their spend — stay in touch with your consumers, but don’t put profit over people.

Rather than plug a product with a 10% discount, how about giving a case of that product away to a group that really needs it? It’s that kind of news which really connects with people in challenging times; genuine compassion, empathy, humility.

Effective communication needs to understand humans and their motivations; how they are feeling. People are understandably anxious, disorientated, their priorities have changed. Some of your audience are desperate to get back to ’normal’, but many people are experiencing a very sensitive and difficult time.

Now is not the time for product promotions, chasing sales targets, or sending bullshit emails about how much you care. People expect more from brands that mean something to them, so don’t follow the herd, be honest and authentic.

Here are some simple tips for maintaining an honest communication strategy, helping you to connect with people and encourage brand loyalty:

  1. Don’t overestimate your role in consumers’ lives or assume that your brand is a welcome distraction right now.
  2. Take an insight-driven human centric view of people’s motivations.
  3. If you have something to say, be specific and make it clear what your intentions are.
  4. Consider the impact of your message on future brand-customer relations.
  5. Also, pay attention to internal communications — are your team safe and well, all clear about their remit in the current climate?

Think about what you can do to make people feel more loyal to your brand — don’t bullshit, be straight with people — honesty and genuine compassion will pay you back in the longer term. Now go and wash your hands, then make someone smile. 😊