Hey 2020, we still got each others’ backs
2020 set out to be a year of marketing innovation with a host of creative ways to push and enhance brand engagement with consumers. Well, it’s safe to say we got all that, and then some. This was a year that proved that when put to the task brands can make a difference. We really saw how brands could go the extra mile to help consumers, and we saw how consumers could pull together and look out for each other.
Surprisingly, the insurance industry was one of the first industries to respond to the nationwide pandemic from a financial standpoint. On April 6th, Allstate and American Family Insurance were the first to announce percentage givebacks, insurance premium refunds and allowances on lapsed payments for the first half of the year. From there, it didn’t take long for them to be joined by the rest of the top 10 providers. And whether the response was a result of competitive pressure or corporate governance, it was the right thing to do and it didn’t go unnoticed.
Across the way in a different pond, Planet Fitness also quickly pivoted early in the pandemic by placing an emphasis on physical and mental health as isolation set in. Providing free content through their app and 20-minute or less workouts on Facebook, they found innovative ways to help individuals and families deal with isolation and stay home orders. In addition, they also froze all accounts, forgiving members of their monthly dues while still holding their membership. Such efforts showed folks where the heads and hearts of Planet Fitness were at when people needed a helping hand.
Many categories and brands responded to the call providing consumers essential support during an unprecedented time. Fashion brands diverted production lines to sewing hospital gowns and masks. Distilleries turned from boiling up spirits to whipping up hand sanitizer. And to help consumers and essential workers get what they really needed, shipping companies shifted their logistics to help deliver the goods.
It’s also important to note how the general public acknowledged companies and brands goodwill by in turn showing their support and loyalty. And as consumers looked to brands to provide leadership, consumers also looked for opportunities to step up and help their communities in need. This was quite evident as we saw people rallying to support local bars and restaurants, donating to programs that support medical workers on the frontline, and creating word of mouth campaigns to help furloughed workers with a network of support. Despite the incredible hardships, confusion and insecurity brought on by 2020, it’s been inspiring to see brands and consumers step up and look out for those beyond themselves.
As we move forward, brands must continue to look for further ways to provide relief, not only financially, but in ways that forge meaningful customer connections and potential long-term relationships. Having a firm understanding of how consumers perceive the current landscape offers paths and opportunities to communicate in low-risk ways. Knowing how media usage shifts provides new ways to offer support through technology. And proactively linking to a greater good creates and provides value to people and the communities around them. How you behave in trying times builds a foundation for how consumers perceive you now and in the future.
Unbound’s team of seasoned and smart strategic thinkers brings over 100 years of experience to help brands efficiently determine dynamic business and marketing solutions, precisely aimed at the hearts and minds of their highest-value customers.