At this moment in time, no one is entirely certain when the coronavirus pandemic will end. Even as some regions look to reopen, businesses and people alike are still struggling with the isolation of remote work, the economic challenges of lockdown, and the emotional stress of the virus’s spread. It’s a difficult and trying situation for almost everyone involved.
That’s why it’s so important for customer-facing brands to engage with it.
People are exhausted right now. They’re tired, stressed, and afraid. They face an uncertain economic future, one marred by prolonged isolation and civil unrest.
Many of them are going to look at your business for comfort. They’re going to turn to you not just for a sense of normalcy, but for the assurance that things will ultimately turn out okay. It’s your job to give them that.
But what does that mean, exactly?
Per a Twitter survey released in April, a few things.
First, 64 percent of consumers expressed the belief that brands should continue advertising products as normal. While it’s advisable to stay away from tone-deaf ad campaigns that involve travel or appeal to negative emotions, seeing products advertised as they usually would be offers some degree of comfort to 52 percent of users. There’s also one other caveat.
While people want the illusion of normalcy, they understand that our current situation is anything but normal. They expect businesses to acknowledge that. In that regard, you’ll want to take a more humanitarian approach in your business’s branding.
According to 82 percent of respondents, brands should look to support frontline health staff wherever possible, while 86 percent indicated that they should support vulnerable people within their communities. Reliability and authenticity are also extremely important, as is support for local communities and employees.
This is where your website comes in.
It’s highly advisable to publish a small statement on your frontpage about the novel coronavirus, and what measures your brand is taking to protect employees and customers from it. This statement, positioned at the top of each page on your site, only needs to be a few sentences at most.
The initial statement should simply establish that you’re aware these are difficult times, and you’re doing everything you can to ease the impact on everyone. It should link to a page where you further explain your approach to COVID. On that page, you should explain the following.
- How COVID has impacted the customer experience. This could include changes in hours, changes in delivery times, or changes in pricing.
- What you’re doing to keep your employees safe.
- What additional measures you’re taking to safeguard customers.
- How long you’ll be implementing all of the above measures.
These are difficult times for almost everyone. It’s up to you to do your part to ease everyone’s anxieties. And know that at the end of the day, we’ll get through this, and we’ll do it together.