Brands which focus on greener economics and showcase the human side of enterprise take center-stage in customer’s eyes
By Tarun Garg
Today we are experiencing an unprecedented crisis that has brought countries across the globe to a standstill. Something that has overwhelmed us all in a way we have never felt before. COVID-19 has presented a challenged for everyone. But, as they say when the going gets tough, the tough gets going. The spread of this pandemic and the challenges associated with it are a test of our resilience.
The ongoing global challenge has prepared organisations to begin responding for tomorrow. Brands are working to plan strategies which will bring about new trends. We expect customers to prefer brands that will solve problems, focus on greener economics and showcase the human side of enterprise where communities and people focused social activities will take center-stage.
With social distancing keeping many people at home, we’re witnessing major shifts in behavioral trends. Some of these behavior changes may be temporary, but many may be more permanent. As people move beyond the current mode of survival, the momentum behind digital-experience adoption is unlikely to reverse. This change is presenting a cue to brands to be nimble and adapt to stay relevant.
Focus on Care and Connection
Now more than ever, people need information, guidance, and support to navigate new set of challenges, from keeping their families safe to helping their kids learn in a time when schools are shut down. They want a resource they can trust, that can make them feel safe when everything seems uncertain, and that offers support when so much seems to be overwhelming.
The way organizations step up to play this role for their customers, their employees, and the broader community is likely to leave lasting memories in customers’ minds.
Hyundai’s uniquely designed campaign #WePledgeToBeSafe, was created to generate social awareness around Stay Home Stay Safe, Social Distancing and asked customers to pledge to be safe. Social distancing can lead to stress, boredom, and a sense of loneliness. We witnessed huge engagement on this initiative. Customers shared their videos with us how they are staying safe at home and enjoying their family time.
Accelerate digital offerings
Digital has become a necessity for most customers who are confined at home. Adoption of several digital platforms has grown strongly, even among the most unwilling customers.
It’s likely that many customers who have converted to digital services will stick to them even after this crisis is over. Companies who make this shift to digital and deliver superior experiences have an opportunity to increase adoption and maintain these customer relationships.
Being a progressive brand, we foresaw the trend and introduced India’s Most Comprehensive End-to-End Car buying Digital Platform ‘Click To Buy’. We are witnessing a strong traction on this platform, with customers displaying acceptance of exploring and buying cars online.
Present with empathy and transparency
The Global crisis will impact customer sentiments and business operations. In the near term it will be important to be cognizant of these changes and rework communication and marketing strategies. This will require marketers to spin the flywheel of creativity because the current times demands more compassion, humanity, reality, and kindness. They define a company’s culture and demonstrate the values it stands for. As a marketer, the most important question we are asking ourselves right now is not ‘How can we sell more?’ Instead, it is ‘How can we support customers during this time?’
Adopt innovation at lightning speed
John Adams, said “Every problem is an opportunity in disguise.” As marketers, our role is to devise a strategy that can bring out relevant and practical solutions for our stakeholders and industry at large. We feel that marketing communication must mirror consumer sentiment while triggering their aspirations.
Building agility across functions to handle changing customer circumstances is necessary and will have long-lasting benefits.
Associate your brand with good
People will remember brands for their acts of good in a time of crisis, particularly if done with sincerity and generosity. Feel-good content that alleviates anxiety and promotes positive messaging will go a long way in augmenting the brand.
Hyundai is guided by its Global vision “Progress for Humanity”. As a Socially Responsible brand we feel it’s equally imperative to Give Back to the Society and times such as these make it even more purposeful for any brand to lead from the front. We made various contributions to PM care fund, state’s CM fund, distribution of PPE Kits, masks, sanitizers, essentials and so on.
The author is director, sales, marketing and service of Hyundai Motor India Limited.