There is no doubt: we are experiencing some unprecedented things in the world and in the marketplace right now. Business owners are asking themselves a lot of questions:
- What should I be paying attention to?
- What should I say?
- What is going to happen next?
- What will the pandemic do to people’s spending?
- To my industry, to my store?
- Does my business need to figure out how to go digital?
- If it does, how do I get that done?
It’s different for everyone
Every brand needs to figure out how they are going to participate and engage the public in the new normal. This will mean something a little different for each, but one thing is universal: To move forward successfully, we need to be “On Code.” What the heck does that mean? “On Code” means sending the right message for the current reality. During the pandemic, that message is: “Let’s help each other get through this.”
Language of support
The overriding public sentiment right now is one of empathy, charity and support. Today, more than ever, a company has to make sure that all messaging, advertising and even internal language is along the lines of how to help people and support the community. Any company doing anything that can be construed as not “On Code” can quickly see themselves ostracized.
Show your values
People are looking beyond what a company makes, looking for clues into the values and culture of the leadership, and you can’t afford to appear ignorant or uncaring. To make certain your business is not one people can point a negative finger at, you’ve got to be “On Code” with public sentiment.
It’s not bad news, actually. The current attention on “helping each other get through this,” is an opportunity for businesses to focus on how to be of service to others. Sales should always be done from the perspective of helping people with what matters to them, but now you MUST sell from that perspective, or you risk getting the negative finger pointed at you.
What isn’t working
Manipulative sales strategies are seen as predatory in the current environment and will draw the ire of the masses. Having strong messaging around being safe, helping people be safe, helping people in general, donating to causes and helping the community is how to make sure that your company stays “On Code.” Trust me, you don’t want to be one of the companies that is thought of as predatory.
Don’t forget about your team
Internally, you also want your company culture to be in the game. This isn’t a bad thing, either, as a company should always be creating a future for its people and taking care of employee needs. But, now more than ever, you MUST be paying attention to taking care of your employees, their families, and even others in your building to remain “On code.” This means policies around safety measures, of course, but is not limited to them.
Think about what is next for their careers, how we’re going to build that going forward, what other ways we can help the people around us, even host a series of conference calls where team members are allowed to talk about what fears they are experiencing and feel like someone cares…
There are thousands of creative ways to make sure that we are staying “On Code” with “Let’s help each other get through this.” It behooves every company to make sure they are thinking this way, both now and moving forward beyond the current crisis.