There are many ways in which brands communicate. They use advertising, which is a powerful tool. Sponsorship of sport, and other large-scale events, such as mega concerts, if leveraged properly, yield great returns on investment.
But in a time of crisis, such as now, with the world, it seems to some, almost shutting down, people clamour for information about the virus, and how you are communicating with them about it, rather than be attracted to the latest advertising fad.
But the most important form of communication has always been to “walk the talk”. It still is. Especially now. It means your brand and its promises can be believed.
At this time of crisis in the world, one would therefore think that every brand is practising what it preaches. And if it does not preach the message of staying healthy by applying the basis hygenic standards recommended by experts the world over, it should embrace these norms immediately.
Thus when you walk into a pharmacy, of all places, you expect sanitiser to be available at the entrance, and to be compelled to use it. Gloves and masks should be worn by the staff, if only to give comfort to their customers. Surfaces should be cleaned before and after every customer has been served. Yet some outlets of a well known pharmaceutical brand in South Africa are brazenly ignoring these standards, in spite of customer pleas not to do so. By doing so, they are implicitly saying that they don’t care. In the face of this unsafe behaviour (observed a day ago), this particular brand has stepped up its radio advertising to teach the public safety standards!
This need to “walk the talk” applies to government departments, as well as any business dealing face-to-face with customers, as well as religious organisations. If a small supermarket on the high street of one of Johannesburg’s residential suburbs can do it – as was observed this morning – so can every national chain, with their vastly larger resources, do so.
Walk the talk – that will be your advertising and marketing communication strategy that will see you through this tough time.