Phase 2 has begun – the economy is reopening and so are shops and businesses. While it may seem like we’re resuming our normal lives before the virus outbreak, a lot has changed since then. There’s definitely been a shift in attitudes after COVID-19 and with that comes the question: What tone and messaging should your business be adopting following the end of circuit breaker?
To answer that we need to examine the current attitudes of our target audience. Singaporeans have generally adopted a positive outlook on the economy following COVID-19’s impact. This comes from a strong trust and support for the government and general attitudes are on the positive end. According to a survey done by Ipsos, over the days when DORSCON (Disease Outbreak Response System Condition) alert level in Singapore was raised to Orange, Singaporeans remain confident in the Government and the country’s ability to contain and manage the outbreak.
This suggests that businesses can expect things to pick up as Singaporeans attempt to resume their normal lives before the outbreak occurred. People have become more socially responsible and have started to incorporate more hygienic habits into their routine. This may have stemmed from Singaporeans’ “kiasu” attitudes but in general, people are not as fearful of going out when they know they are practising good habits. In terms of spending, we’re saving more and being frugal with our money but enjoy indulging in eCommerce. Online shopping seems to be a new and potentially lasting habit and businesses should consider capitalising on this trend.
Having said all that, when it comes to the messaging in your advertisements, it needs to strike the right tone for consumers. During the circuit breaker, everyone was social distancing for months and shifting your tone to one that is more personal, empathetic, and human may work in your favour.
Brands need to start getting more personal with their customers in order to understand their pain points in this difficult period. Rather than a project, a cold and corporate feeling, being real with your audience helps in getting your advertisement to resonate with them. It’s critical that brands make their audience feel like they’re all going through tough times together and stand with everyone in solidarity. Use an honest and clear voice in all your communications to convey that messaging and remember to be consistent.
Being authentic at this time may prove to help you gain more trust as a brand. Take the chance to also offer comfort and reassurance while also raising morale. Your influence as a brand may prove to be helpful in this. People are also more likely to remember a business that gave back in these trying times. If your brand can afford to do so, use your platform to host giveaways, speak up on social issues or donate to charity organisations. When you’re being genuine with your consumers, they will in return be more loyal to your brand once you foster that personal connection.
Of course, you should also remember to tread carefully, as there’s always a fine line to be mindful of. Coming off too strong with promotion and discounts can be seen as your business being uncaring, desperate, and superficial. Make sure to approach this carefully and always keep in mind the current situation. Before the ad goes out, think and examine it, can it be interpreted the wrong way? Is it sincere in its messaging? Should you put off running this ad for the meantime? Being sensitive and mindful is more important than ever right now.
As a brand, staying on top of trends is important, but so is staying on top of your consumer understanding. Think about what it is right now that you, as a business, can offer to your target audience in these difficult times. Any Covid-19 messaging that’s being put out needs to be compassionate and understanding that this pandemic isn’t simply an inconvenience or a disruption to business goals. As much as your business wishes to market itself at the moment and minimise your losses, this pandemic is not a marketing opportunity and should not be used in that manner. Approach this situation with caution and also respect. This will help your business in the long run and also potentially gain you loyal customers.
We’re in a period of uncertainty with no telling what the future may hold. As a business, all we can do now is to try our best to stay afloat in these turbulent times and also be mindful of the ads we put out. Remember that all your actions and words have consequences if communicated wrongly. Be thoughtful, genuine, and sincere with your tone and messaging. Always review all your communications before it goes out and be consistent on all platforms. We hope this article has helped your business figure out the right tone and messaging. Stay safe, everyone!
Sign up to receive tips and tricks on how to make videos that make people take action.