The Times They Are a Changin’ – Bob Dylan
‘Marketing, Adaptability and ‘Fight or Flight’ in times of Crisis’
The Coronavirus Crisis has catapulted us to a world of unprecedented uncertainty that is affecting all areas of our lives. We couldn’t have predicted what happened yesterday, and we have no idea what tomorrow will bring, and that means we are all living in a state whereby emotions and anxiety is running high..
In times of crisis, humans have been biologically programmed to adapt. Installed within us is the ‘Fight or Flight’ response, so that when faced with danger, we instinctively and intuitively know how to protect ourselves. In order to survive, we adapt to the situation.
When it comes to survival; businesses and humans aren’t all that different.
Businesses need to adopt the same quick response and approach in order to survive; being able to adapt quickly to current circumstances is key to increasing the chances of survival when faced with economic crisis. But it’s not just in times of difficulty that adaptability is so crucial, being able to evolve and respond in real time is key to business and marketing success.
What is paramount to business and marketing success – crisis or not – is how quickly they adapt and tailor their approach, narrative and marketing strategy to meet current trends and circumstances, both market and consumer. Their ability to reflect and utilise what’s happening in the world (events, economy, financially and consumer behaviour) to their advantage and how they then marry these with their products, marketing strategy and marketing campaigns aswell as how they communicate with their audience is what makes brands and businesses not just stay afloat, but make an impact, a lasting impression and almost fly above their competitors.
This is their fight back when faced with danger.
Over the past 2 weeks we have seen some of the worlds biggest brands adapt, and sync their business strategy and marketing outreach and campaigns to a-line seamlessly with the Covid19 crisis. They’ve adapted boldly, with purpose, with creativity, with emotion and strong and innovative messages, slogans and taglines that support the Government’s and NHS #stayathome guidelines. They’ve also acknowledged and showcased our heroes on the front line, and paid respect both with flair and confidence which has undoubtedly made a colossal impact not just in the marketing brand world, but audiences worldwide.
Grazia Magazine has just published their latest copy and featured ‘real life’ NHS nurses on the front cover; a move that is rarely seen within the high end glossy magazine media spectrum.
Aswell as it being a beautiful, emotive and thoughtful gesture it’s actually a very clever and thoughtful marketing strategy.
By celebrating our local heroes coupled with the fact they are ‘real people’ like you and me as opposed to 7ft size 6 supermodels with unattainable realms of beauty, Grazia in this single image, created a unique bond between them and their audience. They have instantly become more relatable, personable, warm and even humble, and created a dialogue and even a relationship with their audience without even a single word. They have provoked emotion within their audience, and have built an authentic and memorable connection.
Jeep is another household and world renowned brand who have created a campaign supporting the government guidelines that we should stay home:
Again a powerful and beautiful message and use of creativity, but one that’s been adapted to fit with our current crisis of circumstances.
Jeep have driven straight to the front of the automotive marketing strategy race with this campaign, because of it’s poignancy it’s definitely one we will remember long after the crisis has passed; they adapted and ultimately achieved their goal – to showcase and promote their brand loudly and boldly without being insensitive to what’s going on.
This campaign speaks to its audience, literally! And not just their target audience, audiences worldwide.
Other big brands that have adapted similarly and powerfully are Nike:
BurgerKing, Coca Cola and McDonald’s just to name a few.
Adaptability is one of the most important keys to unlocking and achieving successful marketing, as is human connection, identification and quick response. These are among your ‘fight’ tools – empowering you to fly above the market and your competitors right to your customers; just in times of crisis, but always.
We know which brands we’ll remember when this crisis passes and subsequently the ones we may approach; the ones that have done just that.