With the global lockdown caused by the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, consumers are turning more and more toward online transactions. The crisis has significantly impacted consumer behaviour altogether in other ways, as well. This scenario has created an unprecedented surge in demand for the fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) companies.
Reasons for Brands to Align with Consumer Behaviour
There is a notable boost in the consumption of traditional and ayurvedic food items. Most of the brands have responded appropriately to these changing circumstances and have developed innovative products for the consumers in accordance with their requirements. Experts believe that this trend of online dependence is going to continue even long after the crisis has passed. Brands which make the most of this opportunity are much more likely to benefit in the long run. Presently, consumers are opting for digital services and platforms in almost every walk of life. It is imperative that the FMCG brands learn to swiftly align themselves to this shifting consumer behaviour. For instance, partnering with online delivery service platforms in order to better serve the consumers can help the brands to maintain their credibility in the long term.
The social impact of the crisis is likely to last for a longer duration than the economic impact. So it is highly essential that brands are prompt and amenable to align themselves to the changing market conditions.
Consumers are attempting to acclimatize themselves to the current circumstances following the lockdown now. Brands are setting up communications that guide the consumers towards going through this phase smoothly.
Brand Communication post Lockdown
Listed below are a few examples of the way some of the brands have been communicating over the past few days:
McDonald’s – Hungry Houses
In order to motivate people to stay at home and pick the option of ordering food to be delivered; McDonald’s, in association with Leo Burnett, has rolled out an integrated campaign which is titled ‘Hungry Houses.’ The campaign underscores the need to #StayHome but not hungry.
ICICI Lombard – #RestartRight
With consumers resuming their professional duties post the lockdown; ICICI, in association with Ogilvy, has rolled out a new campaign that prompts people to ‘restart’ their life in the ‘right’ way. It also communicates the upgrading of its health insurance solutions in light of the pandemic.
Ikea – Home Lessons
Furniture retail company Ikea has rolled out a campaign titled ‘Home Lessons’ which showcases the lessons that people have learnt during their isolation at home following the lockdown; such as: experimenting with new recipes, redecorating and other DIY (do it yourself) projects; as well as enjoying a night in.
The State Bank of India (SBI) has revealed a new brand identity for its insurance company, State Bank of India General Insurance (SBIGI). Both the logo and tagline of SBIGI have been redesigned. This brand identity is set to portray SBIGI’s future-ready services (traditionalist as well as modernist) to the evolving customer.
SBIGI Reveals new Brand Identity
The swipeable buttons represented by the logo indicate the digital age; while the use of gradient denotes future readiness. The tagline ‘Suraksha Aur Bharosa Dono’ fortifies the promise made by SBI General Insurance to provide ‘suraksha’ (protection) to the customers during their times of adversity as well as strengthens the faith (bharosa) placed in the parent establishment, SBI, by the customers. The purpose of the new logo and tagline is to reassure SBIGI’s customers of the company’s commitment to serving their needs even during the current challenging times.
SBI General Insurance (SBIGI) is a joint venture company majorly owned by the State Bank of India; along with investments from Axis Bank Asset Management Company Limited, Premji invests, and Warburg Pincus Group. SBIGI offers a diverse range of insurance policies; such as home, health, two wheeler, four wheelers, motor, personal accident, and travel insurance in the retail sector; and: construction and engineering, marine, fire, aviation, and liability insurance in the commercial sector.
In this age of digitization, it is highly imperative that businesses step up their brand endorsement efforts in order to remain at the forefront of consumers’ minds. The businesses need to ensure that their brand is able to attract the attention of the customers as well as retain them.
Brand Recognition amid Evolving Times
Listed below are a few tips for gaining brand recognition among the customers, corresponding to the constantly evolving times:
- Creating products/services as per the changes brought about by the shifts in culture is the first step in keeping with the ongoing circumstances. This also helps in influencing consumer behavior.
- It is a great practice to take advantage of any brand’s core product’s popularity and then to leverage this product’s awareness among consumers in order to attract their attention towards the other products offered by the same brand.
- Businesses need to concentrate their marketing efforts towards creating campaigns that relate to and resonate with their audience. Campaigns that highlight the joyful moments during special occasions in the audience’s lives (e.g. Cadbury Celebrations ads) remain in the audience’s minds for a long time.
- There needs to be a focus on the mass audiences as the majority of consumption happens in rural areas (e.g. small packs, sachets of the products of any brand).
- It is highly essential that brands remain open, direct, and honest in their messaging.
Previously lesser known brands have now begun surging forward in the midst of the lockdown. There is an ongoing debate as to whether this trend will continue even after the end of the pandemic. Retailer-owned labels have made their foray into the mainstream for essential as well as non-essential products in this fear-inducing atmosphere.
These lesser known brands have benefitted from the absence of popular national brands; by taking up the slack and supplying the customers with their own products. These brands have witnessed steady growth in the past few weeks. This trend can be noticed across well known wholesale as well as retail chains such as Spencer’s Retail, Reliance Retail, Metro Cash & Carry, and other eCommerce chains as well. Customers trust the quality and reliability of specific wholesalers and retailers while tryIng out the new products from these brands; because of the shortage of products from otherwise well known brands. Food, home care products as well as FMCG (fast moving consumer goods) are among the most common categories in the essential products section.
There will be shifts in consumer behaviour in terms of ‘now’, ‘next’, and ‘beyond’ the pandemic. By focusing on their niche categories, these private brands can leverage the consumer demand for products; post lockdown.
Ayurvedic and herbal products manufacturer, the Himalaya Drug Company, has rolled out a new campaign in the midst of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. Titled ‘The Purest Greeting’, it is an effort to encourage maintaining hand hygiene as well as to boost awareness on the significance of maintaining social distancing.
Himalaya Rolls Out ‘The Purest Greeting’ Campaign
In collaboration with 82.5 Communications, this digital ad film has been remotely shot, directed, and edited; extending across several countries from all over the world. The purpose of the film is to convey the beautiful and practical message of the Namaste (folding the palms of your hands), which is especially appropriate amid the current crisis. The ad film promotes the use of sanitizer and.hand wash products from the Himalayas ‘Pure Hands’ range. The film has been broadcast on the company’s social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.
Established in the year 1930, the Himalaya Drug Company is a world renowned manufacturer of Ayurvedic, herbal medicine, and wellness products. It offers medicinal products in nutrition, baby care (diapers, baby laundry wash, etc.); mother care (nursing care, body care, etc.); personal care (face care, eye care, hand care, hair care, etc.); pharmaceuticals (derma health, general care, etc.); as well as animal health (companion care, poultry, aquaculture, etc.) ranges.
In the midst of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, isolation has become mandatory. This enforced isolation has affected almost every business. Brands need to review their content strategy and ensure that they are conveying the right message.
A few ways in which brands can retain their audience are listed below:
- Directly acknowledging what is happening and how this is affecting their demographic
- Understanding exactly what their audience is feeling at present
- What value they can offer to help their audience
Pointers on Spreading the Right Brand Message amid Crisis
Brands need to be sincere with their messaging and actions. They need to send out messages acknowledging the current crisis and offer suggestions (if any) as to how to counteract it. They should continue marketing in an appropriate way so that they can pick up when life returns to normal once again. Brands also need to make use of certain opportunities for staying constant in the minds of their audience.
Those opportunities are as given below:
- Keeping up with Google Trends by monitoring them for new topics or questions that the audience seems to be looking for
- Shoring up their content bank by prioritizing mid/top-funnel content based on the shifts in consumer behaviour
- Adopting new content strategies like developing more video content and repurposing existing content into video formats since visual consumption has increased considerably in present times
- Embracing the data by using data collection methods for updating their website in accordance with the current crisis
Google Discover is a notable feature on the Google Chrome mobile application. It has also gained popularity as an individual feature on Android devices. It is basically an information feed which consists of articles, advertisements, video, news, and so on.
There are two major factors contributing to technical search engine optimization for Discover, which is listed below:
- Mobile friendliness
- Image optimizations
Your content needs to be mobile accessible since Google Discover is available only on mobile phones and tablets. You need to make sure that your mobile experience is free of pop-ups and intrusive advertisements. Also, ensure that any visuals you insert in the article are accessible and readable. High website speed also accounts for mobile-friendliness.
Revamping for Google Discover- Key Elements to Consider
Images are highly essential for gaining traffic from Discover. Good imagery is also related to high visibility in the feed. Check that your image file size has been suitably compressed, have a file name that aptly describes the image, add an explanatory caption and apportion the alt text.
Your content should follow the latest industry trends, provide accurate and relevant information, and create educational opinion pieces around important news. Also, you need to understand your audience and learn about their various hobbies and interests. You can then make use of this information while developing your content strategy.
Bajaj Financial Services (FinServ) has launched a new campaign to underscore its efforts for staying relevant all these years. Titled ‘Better Never Stops’, the campaign emphasizes how the brand has evolved and innovated throughout the years.
Conceptualized by Taproot Dentsu, the campaign features a young girl and her father in a shop purchasing a doll for her. This instance is showcased over various time periods, highlighting the different payment patterns accordingly. This allegorical story shows glimpses of the various types of currency used through the ages, which strikes an emotional chord with the audience who are now used to paying in an instant.
Bajaj Finserv Launches ‘Better Never Stops’ Campaign
The campaign stresses the importance of evolving and improving over time. It accentuates the need for innovation in terms of making life easier for customers. The campaign is being broadcast across general entertainment channels (GEC), business and news channels as well as the digital platforms like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram.
Bajaj Finserv is a brand of Bajaj Holdings & Investments Pvt. Ltd. It is an Indian non-banking financial company (NBFC) which offers lending, asset management, wealth management, life insurance, general insurance and consumer finance business services. Bajaj Finserv conducts operations across 1409 locations in India.
Fashion brand Wrogn (from Universal Sportsbiz Private Limited (USPL)), has announced South African star cricketer Abraham Benjamin (AB) de Villiers as the brand ambassador of its newly launched activewear line, Wrogn Active.
The activewear line collection is touted to feature 100 varieties of shorts, T-shirts, sweatshirts, joggers, jeans and hoodies at Wrogn outlets along with online shopping platforms. This apparel collection will be available in the price range of Rs. 699 to Rs. 2999. The activewear collection is aimed at motivating youth to abandon their currently sedentary lifestyle and urging them to get moving.
Wrogn Active Announces Star Cricketer AB de Villiers as Brand Ambassador
Launched in 2012, Universal Sportsbiz Private Limited is an Indian apparel company with fashion brands such as casual menswear brand Wrogn (featuring cricketer Virat Kohli), fitness wears brand Wrogn activewear, as well as casual menswear brand SINGLE (featuring actor Ranbir Kapoor). It also consists of ethnic womenswear brand IMARA (featuring actress Kareena Kapoor Khan), and bold western womenswear brand Ms. Taken (featuring actress Kriti Sanon). Virat Kohli is also the co-owner of the apparel and shoe brand Wrogn, which was launched in 2014.
AB de Villiers has also been associated with leather accessories brand Montblanc, luxury car brand Audi, athletic apparel brand Puma, and tyre brand MRF.