Brand Communication During the COVID-19 Crisis: Some Learning
Businesses large and small have suffered in different ways during the COVID-19 crisis.
The worst-hit has been the travel and hospitality industry. Despite this, the industry provides ample examples of how brand communication can inspire consumer faith and confidence in the brand in times of crisis.
Here we present some examples of both neighborhood brands and marketing giants who have leveraged communication and content marketing to their advantage.
Some Examples from the B2C Space
When things changed rapidly, and some abrupt decisions had to be taken to prioritize health and safety over economics, it was obvious that customers turned to brands for information.
At this juncture, brands that actively reached out to customers without relying solely on their customer service cells stood out and caught their consumer’s attention.
Orbitz is one such example. It put together a blog to communicate all that their customers needed to know about the new changes in their travel plans and how to cope with it.
Such proactive communication also ensures that customers have all the information they need without having to contact the lean workforce during the crisis.
Another reason to communicate is to maintain a connection with the customers.
On this front, several local brands and brand leaders have ensured that communication flowed.
Potter’s House, a non-profit cafe, bookstore, and event space in Washington, DC, kept their communication channels abuzz during the crisis.
The local brand used personable, human language to explain what they have been doing during the crisis and how they have helped the community. They also shared in the same email how their customers can still enjoy the Café’s offerings amidst the lockdown.
Short and Effective
But not all communication needs to be the same.
Sometimes, fewer words can say a lot.
Marriott has maintained a rather simple and short yet effective message that offers hope and encouragement.
Some Examples from the B2B Space
During a crisis like the present one, all you are words to let your stakeholders know that you wish to help.
AirBnB and TripAdvisor have done a great job to this effect.
Their messages are for anyone who uses their platform and particularly for the hosts in the case of AirBnB. The latter apologized for handling the cancellations arising due to COVID-19, the way it did.
Communication like this reinforces the bond that you share with your stakeholders. It lets them know that you are there to help in whichever way you can.
Brands like OpenTable have used Instagram to support restaurants. Their Instagram posts during the lockdown have been an attempt to connect customers with restaurants.
You can imagine the feeling of a restaurant owner upon receiving such support amidst the crisis.
Tough Times don’t Last. Tough Brands do!
We are facing an unprecedented crisis that has affected every aspect of life and the economy.
While it is difficult not to be consumed by the stress of the situation, a little thought towards how brands can make this easier for the customers can go a long way in creating content that dispels confusion and guides customers.
And brands who can do this will gain the goodwill of their stakeholders in the long-run.