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“Care brands”: supporting rather than selling at all costs

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At a time of the COVID-19 pandemic, the contribution of brands to managing the health crisis is a major purchasing criterion for consumers. The latter are also in favor of companies offering solutions to the difficulties linked to the pandemic, and who talk about it.

Beyond the impact on our way of life, the health crisis is causing a change in consumption habits and public expectations about the Brands. In fact, it now seems essential to act in favor of health and safety, for buyers as well as for employees, suppliers and society in general. The readiness of companies to present solutions during the crisis shapes futures purchasing behavior the French. The ability to show empathy is a major judgment criterion. 

In other words, brands adopting the " solve, don't sell ”(“ solve, not sell ”) will be successful. 20e Edelman Trust Barometer, in its special edition on trust in brands in the age of COVID-19, a new concept is born: " caring brands ». 

Contribute to the management of the crisis ... and say it loud and clear

To best negotiate this shift and become a “caring brand”, four axes predominate, according to Edelman. 

  •  « Poffer solutions, not products to sell at all costs ". It is not possible to resume an activity as before, without taking into account the crisis. Consumers favor companies that have made or are evolving their business as a result. For example, by embarking on the manufacture of emergency products or aimed at resolving the difficulties associated with the pandemic. A solidarity vocation is even expected. Offering items intended for caregivers or other affected professionals, or at least lowering their prices, seems particularly appropriate.
  • Communication and advertising adapted to the situation. Concretely, making organizational or production changes in favor of the well-being of employees, consumers and society is good. Talking about it is better. As proof, 76% of French people turn to brands that openly support individuals affected by COVID-19, the majority pay no attention to anything that does not concern COVID and some consumers have even turned away from brands whose response to the crisis was deemed inappropriate. It is therefore appropriate to focus the communication on how the products and services overcome the situation. Conversely, messages concerning products unrelated to the pandemic are relatively inaudible. Concerning the tone of the messages, it is a question of remaining preferably serious, the situation being indeed not conducive to humor. Doctors and health authorities represent the most credible spokespersons for a brand, even before the experts of the brand in question and its founder. Conclusion: to explain how your products can best manage the crisis, ask a healthcare professional to speak.
  • Support your ecosystem. It is not only a matter of helping by developing emergency products, but also of supporting employees, especially in the event of personal difficulties. Protecting the health of its entire ecosystem must be the primary vocation of a company, even if it means incurring a financial loss. In short, a form of social assistance is put forward. The company becomes the cradle of a community that employees can count on.

Collaborate with the government

Finally, the last point, but not the least, that the barometer highlights is this growing spirit of collaboration. Companies must realize that they have a major role to play for the whole of society in the present period. Their involvement in favor of the common good is necessary, because they can become the relay government and organizations when they do not have sufficient resources to respond to new issues. Several initiatives have already emerged. For example, many structures have graciously participated in the production of protective materials for health professionals. Others provide meals or even hotel rooms for caregivers, etc. 

« Today, consumers judge a brand by its impact in favor of the general interest. Any excessively crude commercial and marketing offensive is strongly rejected. However, we see exceptions when it comes to supporting entrepreneurship, maintaining employment and protecting farmers. The role that everyone can play in the service of the local economy is recognized and accepted. It's the return of Made in France. More than ever, brands that create values ​​in the region will be favored by citizens aware of the economic impact of their purchases »Develops Amelia Aubry, managing director specializing in brand issues at Edelman.

© Elizabeth Lies - Unsplash

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