As all are aware, we’re in an unprecedented time that is affecting the entire population and has wreaked havoc on so many normalcies in our lives. The new normal is staying at home, isolated from society, working remotely, and the list goes on. With all the “bad” that is happening out there, brands are in a position to deliver the “good.” It is crucial now more than ever; even as non-essential purchases may be decreasing that brands be authentic and helpful to their employees, customers and communities. Now is the time to find opportunities that continue to build, foster and grow lasting relationships (from a safe distance).
Getting behind a cause-based approach
Every community has a need for help right now. Many brands are pivoting to cause-based strategies to address the unprecedented time that we’re facing with the coronavirus pandemic. Cause marketing is when a company promotes a campaign that has the purposes of increasing profits while also bettering society. The pandemic, which has affected hundreds of millions on a global scale, has caused an increased need for brands to implement this kind of strategy. From contributing to the public health response to supporting communities and employees and making donations, there are many ways to implement a strategy that best fits your business, customer and community. Take the time to think about how you want to respond and act and ensure that the approach taken aligns with your company’s values and purpose.
What others are doing
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Companies are offering donations to causes helping with coronavirus relief, giving discounts on food purchased, waiving service fees and providing additional benefits for employees facing this hard time. Factories that typically manufacture cars and industrial products are shifting their efforts to produce medical and essential goods to get us through this hardship. These are just a few strategies we’ve seen in the last few weeks and we’re likely to see a continued emergence.
Here are some examples of cause-based marketing adopted in this crisis:
- Mobile companies are providing perks that include 5G plans and free data
- Honeywell is ramping up production to make N95 masks in the United States
- Adaptive Biotechnologies and Microsoft are teaming up to map adaptive immune responses of COVID-19
- LinkedIn is producing and distributing free e-courses on productivity and relationship building in this new work from home era
Adopting for now and the future
It is crucial to step in and be there for your customers, the community and ease potential burdens that may come up as a result of COVID-19 when possible. Be present, listen and take action that best fits what you’re able to do for the situation at hand. Messaging and strategies should be solutions based addressing the challenges and not focused on selling. It is also an important reminder that this type of focus should be a part of branding and marketing year-round, not just when a pandemic or similar situation strikes. Consumers support businesses that give back to the community and that should be strived for regardless of a global crisis.