HYDERABAD: The COVID-19 pandemic brought difficult times to many brands. They have lost opportunities, customers dwindled, revenues hit an all time low and many new challenges sprung up. Customers even forgot their favourite brands. For brands, winning customers back is to start from ZERO again. But first, it’s time for them to start forming friendly relationships. As the Lockdown was coming to an end for the markets to open, JANRISE – a Brand Communication firm from Hyderabad, conducted a survey on ‘Lockdown & Branding’. The survey found ‘Reaching out to customers’ to be the Number 1 priority of brands.
‘Won’t Reduce Our Marketing or Advertising Budgets’
Brands will now have to adapt to new conditions. As much as the world wants to return to normal, brands are doing all they can to maintain a strong relationship with consumers. Companies are even willing to increase their spends in advertising and promotions. “We have seen many new companies join our client list. Even as their revenues dropped due to the COVID situation, companies are showing enthusiasm to woo back consumers by spending heavily on Brand Communicationand publicity” said Suman Gadde, Director of Janrise.
Welcoming The Young India
If 61 per cent of the respondents in the survey belonging to the 27-35 years age bracket is one thing, of them a sizable 42.4 per cent want to first shop for kids clothes, toys and essentials. Even as 53.8 per cent respondents stated hanging out with friends as their first activity, only per cent of them wanted to shop for beauty and wellness products.
E-Commerce Gains Preference, A Concern For Malls
Even as 60 per cent of people are in agreement that online shopping is the only safest option, 49 per cent said that they wouldn’t be visiting a mall in the near future. Only 18 per cent showing interest in apparel and jewellery, shopping might affect malls in a big way. Restriction on usage of trial rooms and other similar factors might dissuade people from shopping at malls even more. E-Commerce brands will have a new challenge of rewriting their delivery and returns policies, even more difficult task being how these brands communicate the changes without offending or
discouraging their existing customers. “We are seeing companies willing to increase spend on customer engagement and reputation management as new customer acquisition wouldn’t be easy due to the fear induced by this pandemic,” said Chaitanya Boyapati, Director – Janrise.
Challenges For The Food Industry
‘Out of sight is out of mind’ for restaurant brands. Swiggy, Zomato or own delivery systems, restaurants and kitchens will have to send out powerful messaging on hygiene and safety as assurance alone can build confidence in their customers. Failing to leverage digital platforms across social media with high frequency presence unfolding stories of food safety measures will result in losing many opportunities.
Waiting Times Will Have To Be Reduced
More than 60 per cent won’t go out to eat, 10 per cent are not sure and almost all did not prefer to spend time waiting in stores for their food orders. The need to demonstrate uncompromising methods of safety followed right from sourcing to preparation to delivery becomes more crucial even for online orders. This is only possible by confidence building and reassurance through increased efforts in building customer relationships.
Targetted Marketing – The Only Key For Retail Brands
Retailers need to step out of their comfort zones and adopt techniques that can capture customer imagination as mandatory safety measures might increase waiting time for which customers aren’t ready. About 49 per cent wouldn’t want to plan any events soon but 29 per cent wouldn’t want to step out for anything. 58 per cent not showing an inclination to visit movie theatres, the entertainment and entertainment retail is also expected to take a hit.
Home Sweet Home
Having spent so much time at home, there’s a renewed appreciation for the home and the comfort and little joys it sparks. Most people have recognized the value of time spent with family, which may have a lasting positive residual impact. Cooking together, exploring new recipes, foods and eating together have also driven up grocery bills. Group entertainment has at home has made up for the outings to cinemas and malls. People feel safer and happier at home.