Why brands should consider how they can connect with the emotional needs of their consumers, especially during COVID-19.
Let’s face it, we’re all feeling a bit emotional right now.
Uncertainty, frustration, boredom and despair—these emotions have never been more evident en masse. And, if you’re in Victoria, anger, fear and jealousy are also warranted.
Given the environment, it can feel like a strange time to be selling goods and services. Yet, the reality right now for many brands is that in order to survive, they must not just advertise, but deeply engage.
So how do you connect with your customers on an emotional level, when we’re all feeling as melodramatic as a Tim Burton character?
To ensure your customers are less Sweeney Todd and more Mrs Lovett—i.e., frighteningly devoted to your brand—you need to go back to basics and determine the universal emotion your product or service connects with. And, you need to give some thought as to what that emotion means to your customers right now.
Believe it or not, empathy is the best tool your marketing department has—and it’s time to use it.
Ask yourself: what have the past few months felt like?
Here are a few of our observations.
Absence makes the heart grow fonder—especially for tactile experiences. The desire to travel, hear the roar of the crowd as you watch live sport, drink by the fire in a wintry wine bar, enjoy a slow but perfectly prepared meal out, are all tactile experiences that hold even greater desire now than they did pre-COVID.
Our focus has been drawn to the simple pleasures. We’re spending so much time at home, that everything from the coffee and tea we have at our disposal, to the furnishings we exist in, have been given greater attention.
We’re more aware of germs and our interhuman connectedness. Every public railing, door handle or lift, has us feeling more anxious than ever before.
Our values and priorities have been examined. For many of us, our job certainty or cashflow has been a real concern, and suddenly every element of cost—from gym fees to Uber Eats—is up for examination. As are the questions around our own roles as consumers in determining what will survive in the post-COVID world.
We know now how much we care about our local restaurants, cafes and pubs—are we still willing to choose the convenience of food delivery services, given their unrealistic margins? Many of us have worked from home, and are not as keen to spend hours commuting when a new option has been presented.
Right now, what people truly want is comfort, security, kindness and a sense of belonging. When people feel alone, make them feel part of a community. Make empathy the core of your message.
The old adage, ‘sell a good night’s sleep, not a mattress’ has never been more pertinent. Whether it’s a sense of comfort, security, indulgence, nostalgia or belonging, find your universal emotion and connect with it to engage your audience right now.
As always, we’re here to help. If you need advice on how to better engage your audience during Covid19, say firstname.lastname@example.org