Insight

Ash Smith

What the ‘new normal’ means for brands


We’re living in strange times - and just as we’ve all needed to adapt our lifestyles, brands need to adjust their behaviour to fit in with the ‘new normal’ in order to remain relevant and successful.

To help, we spoke with our brand strategists to get their top predictions for how brands will need to adjust to this new paradigm.

Don’t just talk the talk

We’ve all heard the “we’re all in this together” brand speak – and while it’s nice, it could come across as insincere if not followed up with any tangible activity. If you’re going to tap into this messaging, you’re going to need to be able to back it up with solid examples of how you’re shifting your focus to help those affected by the pandemic, or repurposing products and services to better fit the ‘new normal’. Believe it – audiences will grow fatigued from the ‘in it together’ messaging – but real acts that prove it will break the mould and help your brand stand apart.

Be flexible

These are unprecedented and unpredictable times, and as such, there’s going to be a number of scenarios that will be almost impossible to plan for, but the answer will be to always put your audience first and adapt. Make sure that they are being looked after. Keep the lines of communication open and keep them in the know. You’ll be rewarded with loyalty in the long run.

Be sensitive

Even if your business is not as greatly impacted by the current circumstances as others; remember, your audience likely is. Demonstrating a willingness to alleviate their strain, or by showing ethical actions will make your audience feel seen and respected. As a result, they’re going to be more likely to stay loyal, and that loyalty will outweigh short-term profits from campaigns that are insensitive to the current situation.

Leverage digital channels

As more and more people are spending greater amounts of time at home, either due to unemployment or new work arrangements, brands will need to shift their focus on reaching audiences where they are. We’re likely to see a greater switch from print campaigns to digital campaigns across display, search and social. Beyond just paid marketing, it’s important to keep the lines of communication open by ensuring you are ramping up your community engagement efforts via your owned channels.

Finally, we’re likely going to see a greater focus on making digital platforms fit for purpose. This extends from new website functionality that bridges social isolation barriers, to digitising materials such as brochures and documents for online channels so that these are easily accessible via websites as well.

If your business has been impacted by COVID-19, please reach out to us, we’d be happy to help keep you connected with your audience in ways that will strengthen your brand for the long run.