Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) is in a different space during the Coronavirus pandemic. While many businesses are being shut down during shelter-in-place protocol, essential products are flying off the shelves and stores are unable to keep up with demand. Currently, 97% of Americans consider the workers producing and delivering high-demand goods like cleaning supplies, personal care products, and food and beverage staples essential to our fight against COVID-19.
Demand for packaged goods is unprecedented. IRi has developed a real-time dashboard to outline the current supply-and-demand situation, like hand sanitizer which has surged beyond a 600% increase month-over-month, while nearly 80% of stores are out of toilet paper. In times when consumers have had to scramble to make sense of a world turned upside down overnight, they’re stocking up on essentials.
Adapt your tactics to engage with the online community
In these uncertain times, consumers are facing emotions of distrust and disconnection. Now is a great time to test out new channels and deliver highly sought positivity by highlighting how you’re putting the consumers first. Posting to your social media stories to highlight frontline workers who are helping fill the supply of out-of-stock items, or showcasing stories of people using your products to help others in the community, are all things that will help consumers build an emotional connection with your brand. This will provide a positive brand perception long after this is all over.
Get to know your consumers and build loyalty
In Nielsen's latest research report, they found a 60% increase in the amount of content being watched, equating to an average of 12 hours a day online. In a time where consumers are looking for a positive distraction from the negative media around the world, you can create fun and engaging experiences that allow consumers to share with their network and in return share data on their preferences with you. Surveys like “what essentials are in your cabinet?” or social sharing such as “share a picture of what social distancing looks like for you” can be tied to creative sweepstakes and allow you to capture essential data points for future marketing along the way.
Experiences aren’t just a fun distraction, they can also be a way to connect with your consumers on an emotional level. You should be asking your consumers questions through experiences on how they’re doing, or if there are ways your company can help. You can also offer discounts like free shipping to make sure consumers who are staying home can receive your products or provide ways for consumers to donate products to those in need in exchange for offers on their next purchase. By being empathetic and supportive of your consumers, you’ll find true advocacy on the other side.
Build positive long-term brand perception
It’s been a delight seeing an influx in brands donating time, resources, money, and experiences to help bring the world together in the fight against COVID-19. Check out our favorite examples:
- Natty Light Commencement 2020 They will be hosting an online “Commencement Ceremony” for all of this year's college graduates whose universities have shut down, and bringing in celebrity speakers, and music, hosting via Facebook live.
- Bud Light We're Open: Bud Light built an online locator for local restaurants to submit their information for take-out and delivery in areas where such a tool doesn't exist.
- Foster a Dog, Get Free Beer Busch has teamed up with local shelters to offer families and couples taking in senior dogs for fostering during the COVID-19 crisis free beer. (Registration form)
- Corona Clean Up Corona Canada is hosting community clean up events this summer, helping schools, community centers, and other places of business reopen successfully after the COVID crisis.
Vicks®, a P&G company
- Vicks donated $1 million to Direct Relief, to support equipping frontline health workers with protective gear and providing medicine and equipment needed to treat an anticipated spike in ICU patients.
Loreal and LVMH, parent company to brands such as Louis Vuitton, Givenchy, Christian Dior
- Opening up their factories to produce hand sanitizer in an effort to minimize the spread of the Coronavirus.
The day all the toilet paper went home
While it feels as though things are changing every day, or even hour, we recommend brands keep the consumer as the guiding north star; take the time to engage with your consumers, and ensure your brand’s perception is a positive one that consumers will turn to long after the crisis has ended. By putting your consumers and community first, you’ll find true advocacy on the other side.
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Kayla Siegmeier manages Cheetah Digital’s client-related content and strategic communications along with client advocacy and analyst relations. She has spent her career in B2C marketing with a focus on the development and execution of strategic loyalty programs, direct response, and brand marketing. She now brings that experience and passion for analyzing member behaviors to drive loyalty and engagement to Cheetah Digital, helping showcase the value of the Customer Engagement Suite to leading marketers through the stories of our clients. When not discussing the value of developing emotional loyalty, Kayla can be found enjoying the outdoors with her husband and two children.