In 72 hours our world changed: Our country shutdown the majority of international flights, all sports leagues suspended their seasons, kids in Ohio started a 3 week “coronacation,” and we learned what the terms “social distance” means.
How should brands react in a crisis?
To understand your customer, you need to start with empathy. I’m not diving into a design thinking process blog post (but that could be fun later), but starting with empathy can help you connect with your customers to understand their needs.
- What is your customer going through right now?
- What pain points do they have?
- Can you understand and see their point of view?
There are plenty of “fun” examples to review when brands are trying to take advantage of a situation or a crisis. For this blog post, I want to look at 3 examples of brands that caught my attention this week and why I think they did it right.
U-Haul To the Rescue
There’s a limit to how many units each U-Haul franchise has available, but this is a great way to show that you understand the customer, feel their pain, and you have a possible solution help with this pain.
U-Haul received some great social media coverage for this too. This has to be worth a few dollars of social currency!
U-Haul also had a spike in google search traffic. Look at the spike that occurs when this announcement was made on March 12.
Working From Home
Businesses are telling employees to work from home for the next three weeks. This isn’t a “coronacation” (as my kids call it), work still needs to be done. Many larger companies have contracts with Zoom or WebEx, but what about small or medium sized businesses? Adobe Connect found a role to play. They increased their trial from 30 days to 90 days to help businesses stay on task.
Of course Adobe would love it if you registered with them after your 90 day trial, but this is a great start. When you are trying to maintain a Ron Swanson style social distance from everyone, Adobe Connect can help. My only recommendation for Adobe Connect is to update their site links in paid search ads. I think this could increase their click through rate on their ad and help the good will impressions.
Many of us had planned spring festivals and concerts on our calendars until 3 days ago. StubHub stepped up in a big way for their customers in the wake of the coronavirus cancellation wave. The online ticket reseller did more than offer customers their money back following concert cancellations – they are offering a 120% coupon.
For every Stubhub, U-Haul, and Adobe brand doing the right thing, there are hundreds of brands trying to take advantage of the situation. If you are trying to see what place your brand has in a crisis, start with empathy and connect with your audience. There isn’t always a place for your brand, but starting with empathy and connection can help you avoid putting your brand in a bad situation.