Balancing consumer sensitivities and aggressive sales post the lockdown
I wake up in the morning, spend a minute feeling like P. Diddy, and then spend an hour mindlessly scrolling through social media. By the time I’m ready to start my day, I’m lost of all hope. The clock hits 8pm, I spend one minute closing all the tabs open on my browser (and in my mind), and then spend another hour scrolling through social media with no memory of my hopelessness that very morning. This time, I’m hopeless and cheesed off. This time was the time that brands chose to target me, and boy did I feel targeted. Almost as a routine, I put my phone down, confused because all that’s been on my mind and in my conversations lately has been the current crisis - why did this brand think I needed a leather laptop bag?
Three months later, I know why. Because none of us know how to tiptoe around this conversation.
As a consumer, here’s what I know — I, and those around me (and those around them) have visibly had enough of the influencers (people and brands, alike) who can’t walk the talk, who trivialise important movements, who enter important dialogues for trends, and who target us with products that solve no problem.
As a brand solutionist, here’s what I know — if you just listen to your audience, you can make your business and their sensitivities cross paths, and sell in a more meaningful way.
To begin with, here are a few questions to answer in your communication —
There has been a 85% jump in online searches for “learning online”. Your audience is home, stagnant, and unsure of how to spend the next minute of their day. But, they’re willing to learn. They’re looking for educational content that makes them feel like they’ve been productive today. Your brand is more than just your product. What’s something you can create informational content on, that ties back perfectly with the vision you started off with?
There was a 380% rise in online searches for home remedies and herbs. Your audience is looking to switch to more natural alternatives to their daily essentials and they’re becoming more aware about immunity and self-care. Does your brand believe in sustainability, or does it further the message of self-care and self-development? If yes, you’ve got that connect to build on. If not, you’ve got some rebranding to do.
There has been over a 400% rise in people looking to solve problems online. From how to pay bills, and how to play the violin, to Father’s Day presents and virtual-party games, your audience is looking for all their solutions online. Whether you’re a product or a service, to what current, relevant problem could your brand or product be (or be positioned as) a solution to? going digital will get you that many more eyeballs, and those many more conversions (do the math, please, I’m only a content writer).
There’s been a 700% jump in content consumption since the month of April. You can look at this in two ways: a. your audience has the time of day to consume content (mindlessly), b. your audience is looking for an escape from all the bad news. Either way, your brand can be the solution. What’s something your brand can do, that can help people be comfortable for a little while, to recoup? If nothing comes to mind, what’s one brand collaboration that would be beneficial to you and your consumers, both?
1 out of 2 Indians is still looking for a personalised experience. With all the attention on the pandemic, we’re not getting any. Simply put, your audience needs pampering. Is there a community building exercise you could do, that could make you connect on a more personal level with your loyal consumers? Could they then be used as micro influencers for your brand, to make more personal connections?
Once you’ve tied your brand’s values with the current mindset of your audience, and you’ve got the core communication of your sales strategy, you’ve reached only the end of this sentence, not of the process.
Now, you close.
Put together a Red Team The most brutally honest and culturally diverse members of your team have a new job (with no overtime) - they’re the red team. Every idea you have, runs past this bunch to be ripped apart by its seams on every loophole. This not only keeps you accountable for what you say online, but also helps you connect better.
Consider only short term preferences We all want to know, predict and anticipate what the “new world” will look like, but the fact of the matter is that we’re halfway part the year and nothing any of us thought of came true. So, let’s stick to what your audience needs right now.
Offer discounts and be flexible The news and the narratives are changing everyday. Being able to change their mind as per current events is key - give them that option in whatever way you can afford to.
Prioritise safety and cleanliness 65% of baby boomers in India feel that it’s this one point that would make or break their decision to step out — we’d say you should add this in fine print to all your communication.
Remember, your product may not be the need of the hour, but your brand’s influence is.