We are all working our way through the new reality of COVID-19 and, consequently, shifting our small business’s brand messaging to reflect what our customers are currently experiencing as a result of this pandemic. Here are three simple ways to adjust your brand messaging in light of our current situation:
Prefer a video recap? Watch below:
Take an inventory of all of the images you are using on social media and your website to promote your product, service or experience.
Make sure your visuals don’t emphasize large crowds and people closely touching one another. This may seem like overkill right now, but we have to remember to think of our potential clients and customers and the feelings they are experiencing at this time. Crowds and close personal contact are likely to make them nervous and uncomfortable– two feelings you DON’T want associated with your business’s brand.
Communicate changes to products, services and experiences that reflect social distancing.
For example, if you operate a restaurant, you want to ensure that your audience knows you are offering takeout, the process to do so is obvious and easy, and your customers will feel comfortable utilizing this service. I’ll share a small personal anecdote from a local restaurant that we ordered take out from twice recently.
When I called to order, the restaurant walked me through the pick-up process clearly and concisely, letting me know how it would work when I pulled up out front of the establishment.
While this may seem like a really small detail, the gesture was impactful and made me think very favorably about the responsible way they were looking out for their staff and customers to make sure there was no contact and that the entire process was well-orchestrated and seamless.
This is a tactic you could easily integrate into your digital branding, whether through your website or social media posts. It’s always a good idea to set clear expectations for your customers, especially in times of uncertainty.
Review automatically scheduled brand communications to ensure they are still appropriate
Automation is a beautiful thing since you can set it and forget it for things like confirmation emails, automated promotional series, etc. The caveat is that you DO periodically need to check in to make sure all of the information is still appropriate and on brand.
A great example of this faux pas is the email blast that Spirit Airlines sent out, titled “Never A Better Time To Fly,” the day after the U.S. government implemented a 30-day ban on European travel. When opened, it continued “The perfect time to treat yourself? Right this minute.”
Spirit Airlines later apologized for the gaffe, but the damage was already done. They explained that the promotional content had been scheduled months ago– note to all of your– go check any scheduled promotional content, whether it’s on social media, in-print, or through e-mail!
We would love to see examples of how your brand messaging has changed during COVID-19– feel free to share in the comments below: