How do brands connect with global customers during a shutdown?
A year ago the notion of major cities such as London, New York and Paris being shut down for an extended period would have been utterly unthinkable. But as the Covid-19 crisis unfolds and politicians scramble to deal with the devastating social and economic fallout, how do businesses engage their global customers?Business as unusual
While some businesses are seeing increased demand, across the economy as a whole many others are struggling to work out how to survive, how to keep their staff safe, or simply trying to continue operating as near to normal as they can.
But normal isn’t possible at the moment.
The uncertainty makes life very difficult – how can you plan the next quarter or even the next year when so much remains up in the air? Rightly people are worried about themselves and their loved ones, and as Maslow argued back in the 1960s, our hierarchy of needs is laid bare for all to see. It’s a stark reminder that there are far more important things in life than our work.
That’s why trying to promote your offerings in such circumstances is tricky – customers have other things on their minds. The uncertainty over whether loved ones will be OK, how long this will last, and what it all means for their jobs, their social lives and the things that until recently we have all taken for granted is paramount in customer thinking.Digital dominates
In a world where many cities and countries are in lockdown, digital technology has assumed a vital role. Many companies are using digital technology wherever possible to enable their staff to work remotely – something that simply wouldn’t have been possible to anywhere near the same extent 20 years ago. Those companies that can are encouraging customers to order online – again, the economic impact even just 20 years ago would have been far harder without the internet.