How brands can create mindful storytelling whilst navigating "new normal" narratives.
It’s the moment we have all been waiting for: New normal(ish) part three, lockdown has once again eased, we can enjoy a restaurant meal without being wrapped in blankets and resume travel plans. Brands are all ready to fight for consumers attention as we all embrace a post lockdown summer. It’s a battle to navigate uncharted waters whilst striking the balance of making people laugh, cry, feel good and remember the good ol’ times without appearing blind to the ongoing Pandemic.
We’ve put together six considerations to help brands and marketers create communications that land post lockdown.
In difficult times, feel-good content is often the go-to solution to creatively address societal problems whilst creating a sense of optimism. Strike the right balance of humour and optimism to avoid coming across tone-deaf. Be mindful of divides in your community with people feeling both excitement and anxiety around lockdown easing and how you can sensitively navigate this.
People don’t just want to be sold to, but they look to brands for guidance and to add value to their lives. Brands may be tempted to ramp up their comms to “get out there” and cut through the noise; however, quick attention-grabbing messages may not resonate with consumers looking for more meaningful ways to connect with brands. From the first lockdown, we learned consumers look to brands in a crisis to be helpful; therefore, communications with a genuine attempt to address consumer needs will build a stronger positive sentiment.
There’s an assumption that everyone is keen to get back to meeting in person, thus influencing briefs around meeting up and re-connecting in a post-pandemic. Communication teams should be mindful of the hesitation around this and appearing out of touch. Messages around building a new normal will land stronger than back to normal, as consumers move forward with caution being around others, wearing masks, limited group sizes and observing social distancing. Craft messages around “re-building” with your consumers, showing awareness around their changing behaviours and cautiousness.
Uncertainty, change and adapting have become key buzzwords during the crisis; therefore, brands need to constantly stay abreast of developments and prepared to pivot. By diligently evaluating the optics of public sentiment, comms teams can judge if it is still appropriate to communicate in a particular context and be ready to adapt strategies or hold off on campaigns altogether to avoid coming across as insensitive.
Increasingly people are keen to connect with brands on a human level; influencers help brands do this through humanising messages. Working with the right Influencers will help demonstrate your brand to customers in a real-life context and show how it can be part of their new normal lives. Micro and nano creatives tend to have higher engagement levels and produce more authentic and raw content, which is advantageous for brands wanting to resonate with everyday people.
Now more than before, there has been increased digital engagement for brands over the preceding periods of lockdown. The heightened state of being digitally connected with the world meant social and political issues became magnified. As a widely diverse group of people are demanding to be represented in brand stories, now is a great time to actively engage with this diverse and increasingly conscious group of users and consumers.
The Pandemic has created a unique point in time where brands and their audiences can work together to define a new normal. Brands that will thrive will use their communications to create meaningful, worthwhile communications which creatively address what is happening in society. Drawing upon trends and lessons from the first lockdown will help brands better prepare to serve and build stronger relationships with their consumers.
Social Disruption is a Digital PR and Brand Storytelling consultancy that specialises in helping brands shape culturally rich and purposeful communications. Keep up to date with news and insights via our newsletter and Instagram.