Why we should embrace ‘the new normal’ and continue with our lives
It came, it conquered, it didn’t leave – yet. Nevertheless, we need to carry on with life.
As normalcy limps back, marcom needs to bounce back to fulfill the new needs of consumers.
Living with the face mask
As the cliché goes, ‘change is the only constant’. Normal as we knew it has given way to ‘the new normal’ – polite speak for a world that has suddenly become unrecognizable.
And brands and businesses did indeed respond – from the flurry of coronavirus empathy communication to saluting frontline heroes to living with the pandemic. As customers get used to living with the face mask, they need more of that reassurance from their beloved brands in these crucial times.
New hope, new assurance
In times of crises, hope and assurance are what people gravitate towards. Brands that exude positivity are like the proverbial oases in the desert, contrasting themselves in a predominant state of despair and paralysis.
By the same token, when brands visibly panic, customers tend to distance themselves from them. They then flock to the positive side, never to come back. Loyalists expect their brands to be with them in challenging times, and feel let down when they don’t. Brands need to reflect the new hope of the new normal.
Changing with change
So how can brands gear up to the challenge of change? Keep stores open, but do adhere to the mandatories required. It’s that thin line between appearing normal and conforming to the guidelines set by the government and health authorities.
Here’s a quick toolkit on what you can continue doing:
• Keep conversing with your customers. Sincerely, compassionately, interestingly, engagingly.
• Be serious, not silly. A pandemic is nothing to joke about, so it helps to show empathy.
• Avoid opportunism. Resist from peddling too hard or doing promos. Do price-offs if possible.
• Tell brand stories. With time on hands, and the need for distractions, this is a great time to talk about your brand. But do it sensibly and sensitively, in a warm and endearing tone.
From darkness to light
It’s only in the dark that we appreciate light. The lockdown has served us with an unexpected (if unwelcome) break. We’re living through it, coping with it, learning new lessons. Now it’s time to pick up threads and move on.
Keep calm and do what it takes.