One way some brands have avoided the risk of seeming insensitive is by staying silent. But we know that brands rarely benefit from going dark during times of uncertainty. According to Kantar Insights Division Global Head of Media Jane Ostler, “Brand health becomes vulnerable when companies stop advertising. If they do this for longer than six months it destroys both short- and long-term health.”
This crisis has fundamentally changed the way that Americans assess their sense of safety and has caused significant social and behavioral changes. As consumers’ habits and buying behaviors evolve, brands who say nothing are no longer part of the conversation and therefore risk losing once-loyal customers. According to the recent Kantar COVID-19 Barometer report, only 8% of respondents believe that brands should stop all advertising efforts, with 77% saying they want to hear how brands are being helpful and bringing value to life as it is now.
Consider an appropriate story for your brand to tell during this time. Maybe your brand can offer expert advice on disinfecting the home, inspirational messaging about staying connected or a simple reminder to enjoy the little things. Don’t try to join a conversation where your brand doesn’t belong but don’t stay silent, either. Figure out how your brand can add value to the lives of your audience and tell them about it.