Where possible countries around the world are looking to mirror the 'lockdown' applied by China in order to enforce 'social distancing'.
From what we can evidence with news coming out of the UK and US it seems that a few people in certain countries in the west are yet to adjust personal behaviour to what is an unprecedented global crisis.
It seems that the liberties and ingrained behaviours we've all come to know are now subject to a new normal - what was, is NO MORE!
There are brands and companies who signed up the marketing and advertising budget just a month ago (February 2020) to external agencies and now find themselves 'locked' into continued ad spend despite behaviour around the world changing.
Some are comparing the current crisis to a mindset invoked during WW2, which for most people this is something we only know via history books, or memories from Grandparents.
Back then our Grandparents and their parents faced anxieties and hardships we can't even begin to understand.
Today we're simply being asked to shop sensibly (no rationing yet), sit at home with our families, watch TV, eat healthily with government invoking our "stay at home" call to action.
This is the new behaviour, and perhaps now's the time that can also prove to be a huge opportunity for brands to rethink how relatable they might be.
Your product and service is your brand?
I spend a lot of time with companies whose key focus is to work out how to continue promote the product or service they're selling, yet they all miss one huge point.
Let me give you what I hope is a relatable example;
At a human level People just like you and me are looking for help, direction and sound advice to help get them through this crisis. The same can be said for business.
Brands that simply talk about themselves slowly start to wear us down, we switch off to the corporate message. Our behaviour towards them starts to change.
This is what companies are doing every day before, during, and after this crisis has passed when they use 'social media' to advertise and promote good and services.
They forget that being on social means that it's not just what you say about YOU that other people are 'listening' to, but they can also listen to other people who have already experienced your brand, product and service.
Companies whose revenues have been decimated by lack of income have no option but to become fiscally tighter. Consumers are doing something similar in fear of losing jobs, homes, and livelihoods so they're postponing discretionary spend of any kind - it's all filtering through to the worldwide economic infrastructure we once thought was impenetrable.
The reality is that other people will behave exactly the same as you and me.
Storytelling that people can relate to animates your product, your company, your employees, and your clients or customers. When storytelling is strong and a company consistently focuses on the values that their story embodies, their products or services can become part of people’s lives. In the best cases, those companies can actually influence the culture of an entire business sector and beyond.
Good marketing will bring people to your product or service, hopefully in sufficient numbers to keep the doors open. But marketing alone will not keep them coming back. It won’t create a bond between you and them.