Building Trust With Consumers in a Covid World

    The way brands respond to Covid-19 is key to their future success.

    By Rohan Kapoor - Jan 18, 2021
    Building Trust With Consumers in a Covid World

    Image credit: Andrea Piacquadio, Pexels

    2020 will be marked as one of the most transformational years in almost every aspect of a business. Well, usually, transformation is an evolution and not a revolution. Contrary to that, this year, we’ve witnessed quite a few. Businesses that withstood this test of time showed agility, proactiveness, and adaptability to changing consumer behaviors.

    According to a study conducted on ‘Covid-19: What do consumers expect from brands’ by Kantar earlier this year, 60% of consumers feel the situation demands them to be more proactive about planning and security of their future. It’s now less about ‘Instant Gratification’ and more about trust and sustainability.

    It was reported that 1 in every three respondents said that the way brands respond to the crisis will impact their likelihood to buy from that brand in the future.

    Furthermore, the study also highlighted that consumers want to be assured that the brands they choose in these testing times control their supply chains, exhibit transparency, and are trustworthy.
    Their expectations from brands are to:

    The objective of every business is to build trust. The Global Web Index Coronavirus Research earlier this year reported that ’70 % of global consumers say they’re spending more time on their smartphones since the start of the COVID-19 outbreak’. We have witnessed a stark shift in consumer behavior in terms of moving from bricks to clicks. Hence, the most effective way to build that trust is now through the small screen.

    In these times, let’s look at building 3As into our communication:

    1. Assurance – Build positive sentiment and confidence in customers. How is your business
    stepping up to take precautions? Re-enforce messaging to remove doubts and fears regarding the steps that your brand is taking to ensure hygiene and safety. Use social network awareness KPIs to reach as many people as possible so as to stay on top of their minds.

    2. Assistance – Provide timely support and alternatives for consumers. Consider more
    personalized ways to reach out to them.

    3. Action – Bring experiences to your consumers through social media. Include a pre-order
    strategy, or free delivery and deliver more experiences. Keep the conversation going through chat platforms and lock your consumers in for the future by providing them more offers.

    Since people these days are spending more time on their smartphones, their appetite for content has increased. These are not the times for brands to stop advertising but to adopt a multi-channel approach. Include and increase investment on channels that are mostly consumed by people. People Want to see advertisements that make them feel happy (funny, feel good and positive content) to distract them from the negative news in reality.

    There are two areas to pay attention to while revamping strategies to fit these times:

    Product level:

    • Since people are now making lesser trips to super-markets and have decreased their frequencies of ordering in, offer large bundles, ‘Family pack/Multi-pack’ size to meet consumer needs. Buyers make less shopping trips but end up buying bigger basket sizes on each trip to avoid repetitive shopping trips.
    • Design ‘Longer Shelf-Life’ products to accommodate the “Stock-Up” behavior.
    • To keep people hooked, offer promotions for pre-ordering products that are in high demand but unavailable in your stock.

    Communication level:

    ● Craft stories around Home and Health as it will be the most relatable for people in the current times since these are the two topics that are always on people’s minds now.
    ● Stay on Top of Mind: Run Brand Awareness campaigns with a reach objective to gain as much traction as possible. Use Poll Ads to understand consumer’s preferences. Host Livestream events. Use chat functions to stay engaged with your consumers.
    ● Run consideration campaigns for Pre-Order promotions.
    ● Run conversion campaigns with dynamic ads to increase discovery and then retarget your consumers for the final conversion.
    ● Use innovative formats to drive conversions and sales.



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