No one knows if the much-touted "new normal" has already arrived or is yet to come. However, one thing is certain: Brands and businesses alike can no longer wait for an answer to that, and must communicate. Those who were forced to take a break are eager to boost their sales. Those who fared well during the crisis need to ensure that they remain relevant. Corona has become the new word to avoid. And then what? How do I turn a fan into a customer? Ulrica Griffiths and Yvonne Baum of Griffiths Consulting, a communication agency specialising in families and children as their target group, demonstrate how brands can champion the future.
People are still in limbo, moving somewhere between fear and euphoria. Many realise they will need to pursue a new career path, or come to terms with temporary financial losses, while others are diligently planning their holidays and organising family fêtes. Yet they, too, feel anything but secure. Experience has shown that Germans respond to insecurity with frugality. The government's financial gift is therefore more likely to end up on personal savings accounts than at retail check-outs. Price sensitivity is clearly on the rise. At the same time, the need for security is expressed by consumers paying more attention to quality and service. The goal is to demonstrate value for money on social media platforms: display diverse functionalities, share test results and, of course, social proof – i.e. collect positive brand experiences from consumers and showcase them.
History shows that people respond to periods of cutbacks with a very pronounced need to make up for what they missed out on – once everything is clear again. What did my target group have to do without? What does it want to catch up on? How is the feel, are experiences, joviality and joys reflected in my offer and in my communication? Some are back to planning an autumn wedding and are looking for ideas on how to decorate tables, while others want to record their dream holiday in a wonderful bullet journal and yet others have grown to enjoy working from home and decided to design a stylish and well-organised office at the house. Those who personalise their approach to their target group and identify its needs and dreams can create the perfect offer, even develop ideas which the target group did not even think of before.
To create these very offers for your customers be sure to draw on the opportunities presented by social media: ask and allow your followers to talk about their dreams and give tips. How are influencers covering my topics and how can I involve them? Also, use social insights. The individual channels offer comprehensive functionalities to make data-based decisions: Which topics are particularly interesting? When does the number of followers go up? Which formats (pictures, videos, blog posts, podcasts or citations) work best?
Brands and buyers have both stepped up their use of digital media, or only now learned how to use them correctly. This is an irreversible trend. If you continue to anticipate the needs of consumers and demonstrate your agility on social media platforms, you will be able to seamlessly turn a less-than-ideal situation into an advantage.
About the author:
"We build bridges between brands and families!" – Griffiths Consulting is a communication agency that specialises in families, children and youngsters and triggers not only enthusiasm for brands but also makes sure that opinion leaders talk about these brands – both online and offline. The agency's founder, Ulrica Griffiths, was head of press and PR at Lego Central Europe before that. The agency's core services include social media, influencer marketing and public relations. Griffiths Consulting has partnered with the International Public Relations Team (IPRTeam) – a global cooperation of owner-managed PR agencies.