Coronavirus and behavioral changes: what does this mean for brands?

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Coronavirus and behavioral changes: what does this mean for brands? 

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As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread, how can brands remain relevant to consumers in an increasingly unstable scenario? 

The speed of global spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) is causing a huge change in people’s behavior, such as the mass purchase of protective materials (gel alcohol and masks) or self-isolation. The virus has led our environment to sudden changes without predictable patterns. With these changes in consumer behavior, how can brands remain relevant? 

The Coronavirus crisis exposes a need for brands to be flexible and adapt to changes. When the context and pattern in which people live changes, brands must ask themselves: how can I add value considering this new reality? 

SHOW EMPATHY / GIVE COMFORT: Louis Vuitton for example posted a heartfelt message to Chinese customers on social media platforms like WeChat and Weibo: “Every paused journey will eventually be restarted. Louis Vuitton expects you and your loved one to stay safe and healthy. ”This appropriately tone message fits into a brand positioned as a supplier of fine bags. 

HELP PEOPLE USE THE TIME AND BUILD NEW ROUTINES AT HOME: This is inspiring territory, as brands can seek to help people make good use of the time they spend at home – and drive the internalization of new habits, helping them to feel good about the way time is
spent. With many adopting new behaviors at home, building positive associations / identities around these new behavioral routines will help to create motivation to stage them. 

GO VIRTUAL: We hope to see a new shift to virtual alternatives. In China, online car sales increased in the first weeks of the crisis, we also see many professional meetings and exhibitions being held virtually; just as many museums have started to create an online experience, creating virtual rooms where art is being shown. Concerts and Festivals being created and broadcast on platforms such as Instagram and Twitter through Lives, are technological solutions that, depending on the segment, can be solutions to maintain the routine and scare off loneliness. 

LEARN FROM THE LATEST ‘NEW NORMAL’: History provides evidence that brands can grow in tough times. These are some lasting examples of the Great Recession, where brands like Netflix, Lego, Amazon and Domino’s have boldly expanded their horizons through investments / innovation, customer service, alternative pricing models, and transparency in communications. Although many of their competitors stopped communicating or maintained firm business models, these brands sought consumers in the
right way and added value in a moment of contextual fluidity and behavior change 

In short, it is necessary to avoid opportunism and act in an empathetic and genuine way, and so I continued with some lessons on how brands can play enhanced roles in people’s lives in this very troubled scenario.