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How Brands Can Survive During the COVID-19 Crisis

Posted Jul 7, 2020

Much has been made of the idea of a “new normal” both personally and professionally during the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak and upswing in some areas. Pressure on executives and leaders to make the right decision is key for their brand. Especially in this period, obtaining information from reliable sources makes it easier to adapt and make quick decisions. These not only provide insights and data for brands but also include how advertising and creativity should be done in this period.

Now more than ever it’s important for advertisers to understand the needs of consumers correctly and to determine the messages they want to convey by determining a strategy accordingly. Kantar Consulting recently published some informative articles to provide updates and insights for brands to manage the impacts of COVID-19 and prepare for the future.

Here are some of the important insights from these articles:

First thing’s first, remember that strong brands will recover quicker than weak ones.”

It’s important to make plans to continue the business and protect employees. Secondly, it is imperative to know that every business in the same industry will have a plan, but also face similar challenges. At this point, it is necessary to think that what can be done better than competitors, and how business can be continued. Apart from these, the reactions to how people feel will also gain importance. In order to pivot their messaging and re-enter or shift marketing messages or even products correctly, advertisers and marketers must suspend their own feelings and ideas for a while and be able to focus on what consumers feel. It is very important for brands to understand that people’s responses to a crisis can differ, and therefore routine checks are really important to determine the correct strategies.

Should brands be advertising now or should they cut their media spending?

We see that brands that continue to spend are those that remain strongest and recover most quickly afterward. In order to achieve positive results over the long term, it is important that brands keep a balanced communication strategy, focusing on ad formats that are perceived positively, like rewarded video.

One of the important facts during times of emergency is picking the right medium. Audiences don’t want to see any ads when they are in a hurry to find new updates on news channels, for example. Positioning meaningfully and differently does not mean focusing on the product or its’ function only; sometimes high-level branding is more important. It is also important to send brand-driven and emotional messages.

In this period, creatively-produced content and ads should provide emotional support by showing the message that the products and services are reliable and in line with the needs of the consumers, and should suggest solidarity and togetherness by displaying positive values.

7 Steps That Brands Should Follow

Kantar also boiled down seven short steps for brands to follow as they reconsider their positioning in “the new normal,” even as that normal changes day to day, and week to week:

  1. Ensure the health, safety, and productivity of employees.
  2. Put a rapid response team in place.
  3. Take stock of the commercial situation across retail, marketing, sales, digital.
  4. Minimize business exposure.
  5. Capture immediate business opportunities.
  6. Monitor and update in real-time.
  7. Plan for now for the recovery.

Brand marketers have done what they can in response to the coronavirus situation to protect their business and their people. Employees are working remotely, budgets have been reduced, and activities have been canceled or postponed. Now that it’s a few months into the COVID-19 era, businesses need to move from defensive measures to offensive ones and come up with creative ways to make the most of the current situation and start planning for the future. By being proactive, brands will be prepared for the recovery stage as customers continue to rely on and value them.

About Kantar
Kantar was founded in 1992 and characterizes itself as “data, insights and consulting company”. It has more than 30,000 employees working in 100 countries in various research disciplines, including social media monitoring, advertising effectiveness, consumer and shopper behavior, and public opinion. It is part of WPP and its global headquarters are in London, UK.

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