Branding: A few million employees on short-time work, falling sales and frozen budgets. The economic consequences will be the land. Again and again, you can read about how marketing budgets are radically cut or frozen to save money. The prominent representatives recently also include Google, who want to cut the marketing budget by half this year. One thing is clear: if there are no orders and sales decline, very few companies can afford to continue like this. Marketing to support branding initially seems to be the area in which cuts can be implemented quickly and are most easily manageable.
However, this tactic should be used with caution: Sometimes, it can lead to the brand that has been built up over the years being forgotten in a very short time. Therefore, it is important to adapt the corporate communication to customers, employees, and investors to the crisis and expand it rather than completely silencing it. Companies thus show that they are still active and thus able to act.
Branding: Brand Loyalty: Stay In Touch With The Target Group
Even if personal contact with the target group is lost because a trade fair has been cancelled, for example, it is more important than ever to contact customers and business partners: When everything is back to normal, you don’t want to lose your customers after all. This inspires some companies to develop new creative solutions: Food boom is replacing the large stand at the cancelled OMR Festival with a regular live format on YouTube.
The Logia trade fair in Stuttgart was cancelled this year, so the Swabian mechanical engineering company Grenzebach quickly relocated its stand to its exhibition grounds and made it accessible digitally via a landing page. It doesn’t necessarily have to be fancy marketing stunts. Still, increased communication via digital channels is necessary so that customers and business partners keep their brand in mind and, in many cases, continue to use the offer that is still available.
The consumer thus perceives who is now constructively active and contributes. Customers and business partners can be informed, or the company’s capacities and expertise can be used to make life with the pandemic more bearable. The fact that individual providers have made their solutions available, some of them free of charge, in the past few weeks may not make economic sense at first glance. Still, it is precisely such actions that help anchor the company positively in the minds of the population and strengthen the brand in the long term.
Digitizing Marketing: The Best Opportunity Is Now
If trade fairs are cancelled, and traditional advertising formats such as posters lose their relevance, potential customers must be reached where they are now mainly: at home. Digital advertising, radio and TV advertising are not new channels, but in the current situation, they are the channel to the customers. Now is the time to digitize marketing and try out new formats: digital channels instead of conventional poster campaigns, programmatic advertising instead of manual advertising space booking, and new communication adapted to the current situation instead of pre-produced content are now needed. Agility, flexibility and speed should dominate decision-making.
However, this philosophy is not limited to classic advertising but should be applied to the company’s internal and external communication: The branding this includes potential new customers and business contacts from the past and explicitly includes employees, existing shareholders or potential customers investors in the future. Successful communication strengthens the brand, creates trust and optimism for the future.
Be Prepared For The Post-Corona Period With Branding
A modern marketing strategy adapted to the current situation and agile methods should not be seen as a necessary evil to survive the crisis. The efforts of branding will not necessarily be reflected in the sales figures for the next few weeks. Rather, it is a long-term strategy that makes the company fit for the post-corona period and a possible next crisis and makes it fit for the future. Therefore, the current corona situation should not be the cause to strengthen the brand in a targeted manner but merely the cause.