The issue continues to turn the world, we are being bombarded by both true and false information of this new public enemy called COVID-19, popularly known as “coronavirus”. At the business level we see how businesses are suffering strong impacts on cash flow and liquidity, from gigantic retailer chains to small local coffee shops. Above all these adversities, we also see a growing tendency to renew business models and digitize them, not only to sustain the operation of the business but also to prevent contagion and promote the health of both employees and customers.
There are still businesses that do not know how to start this transformation process and go further, to meet the needs of their customers, needs that today are very different from those that were before the emergence of COVID-19. This change is transforming the way people shop by the emergence of new purchasing needs that have to do with connectivity and savings.
Below I will explain the new customer journey that is taking place due to the international emergency and how your brand could not only meet the needs of its customers but also help locally.
The new customer journey: “Adjust, Peak, Recover”
The next customer journey framework I will share with you is based on 3 phases which are located at very specific times of the COVID-19 emergency in the country where it is located.
In the “Adjust” phase, consumers are informing the property of the operation of logistics and trying to work through it, all while confusing the information that exists about the virus. You have very little knowledge of the disease and you overlook the true impact of it. What should a brand do at a time when people are preparing to stay home?
They must add value to people’s lives,at this time it must be empathetic,understanding that people’s lives are changing, understanding that our freedom to live our lives as we want is being challenged. Giving solutions that help people deal with this new reality.
In the “Peak” phase, we find ourselves in a limbo land where its consumers and employees juggle home, work and life, all without a definitive light at the end of the tunnel. How does your brand’s role change while your consumers are at home?
In the “Recover” phase, we are at a time when tourism rises again, quarantine and social isolation are less rigid and the economy will begin to improve over the months. What is your product/service’s new relationship with consumers?
We can observe here the framework in a more visual waythe can take as an example to build their strategies and tactics for this and the months to come.
Your brand needs to be useful in the new states of need of daily life.
We are at a time when people are not quite sure how they will get the products or services they need. Brands must meet these immediate needs creatively.
Your brand needs to make empathy a “superpower.”
Take, for example, Budget Costa Rica, which elected one of its most vulnerable audiences, made part of its fleet of vehicles available for rent at the hands of the Costa Rican government. In partnership with the Costa Rican Social Security Fund, they managed to deliver medicines to the most at-risk population in the country.
Take what you do and apply it to one of the many new challenges people face.
Find your basic support in the communities your brand serves.
Your brand needs to think locally. As we said in advance, this may be a time to think small and local. How can your brand be available to the communities where you live/work/do business?
- Do you know how the brand is already impacting the community?
- How are businesses and the community interacting?
- Where physically in the community can your brand appear to help?
This is a change in behavioral and consumption habits and therefore opens up an opportunity for brands to create new habits that favor them.
The best way to influence the consumer now is through empathy and helping him to spend this crisis with dignity, entertainment and relaxation.
While these are very uncertain moments, be sure to think that behind each device are people who are waiting for a message of motivation and optimisty to help them cope with this emergency. Your brand can today more than ever be an ally to meet the needs of its customers, therefore, being a utility brand in COVID times is:
- Adapt the current strategy with the new customer journey and formulate solutions that attack the new needs of its customers.
- Keep an eye on your primary business goal. It is an ideal time to create new ways of doing business, digitizing your operation and even creating social responsibility programs.
- Think locally and support your community with the help your product or service can give.