Post on April 03, 2020
COVID-19, which affected more than 150 countries and became a global crisis, we like it or not will affect world economy as well. With several countries implement lockdown and most of it encourage their people to work from home and apply ‘social distancing’, it brings disruption to many brands and businesses around the world. Travel and events industries in particular have been hit hard over the past months. Those with their supply chains impacted by Chinese disruption have also faced stock shortages. Some companies, however, appear well-positioned to benefit from the shifts in consumer behavior.
A surge in the ‘homebody economy’ is boosting stocks for brands that cater for web sofa surfers, like Amazon and Netflix. That’s based on the increased media consumption and online shopping already occurring in China, where the quarantine sanctions have been in place for weeks. Likewise the demand for video-conferencing services like Google’s Hangout Meet is increasing. In response to this Google has made it available for all G-suite customers until July 1, 2020.
But even among these brands, reactive marketing has been restrained. Owen Lee, chief creative officer of FCB Inferno, told The Drum, “Brands are nervous about appearing to profit from this crisis.”
Instead, savvy brands are making subtle shifts in a bid to adapt to the changes in consumer behaviour.Sequoia‘s blog quoted Darwin, predicting that the businesses that would survive the disruption “are not the strongest or the most intelligent, but the most adaptable to change.”
The automotive industry has been one of the first to adapting, shifting their offering from showroom to social media. In China, Mercedez Benz ran a campaign on the WeChat app that let their customers see a 360-degree interior view of its GLB SUV. Fitness brand like Nike has been posting at home workout videos on TikTok, replacing weights with water bottles. Fitness apps, that offer home workout routines, have also reportedly seen an upsurge of downloads.
In Indonesia, GoJek and Grab implement ‘contactless delivery’ in order to minimize the spreading of Coronavirus. E-commerce platform like Tokopedia, Shopee, Bukalapak, and Blibli also encourage people to buy things online by giving free delivery option.
While there may be a downturn in customer spending, there is an increase in customer touchpoints and attention. As Vogue Business pointed out, the outbreak of Covid-19 has accelerated trends that were already developing in China, including investments in e-commerce, gamification and live streaming. The message appears to be – your customers will spend again. If you can adapt and offer them value in this time of uncertainty, you will win their loyalty and when normal life resumes and they do spend again, it will be with you.