5 lessons COVID-19 has taught brands to act upon! 

In this edition of ‘ 5 Lion Experts’ Bytes’, Bilal Khan, Head of Strategy, Lion & Lion lays down 5 compelling lessons COVID-19 has taught brands to act upon!



1. Resist the usual

During Covid-19 when the world is surrounded by uncertainty and consumers are cutting their spends it seems to be the right move to either pause marketing efforts or switch to price offs to drive profits. However, it is proven that what seems right may not be the best for the brand. It not only hurts the brand equity, image and health in the long run but also reduces it to just another option in the sea of brands.

2. Go back to Purpose

Why are we doing what we are doing? What’s the purpose of it. The purpose of Disney is not to build theme parks or make movies but it is to create magical experiences for people. Similarly, Nike’s purpose is not just to make great sport shoes but also to bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete. Finding your purpose will not only help distinguish your brand from the competition but will also secure its future by stopping it from becoming another option by building strong cohorts of consumers who will buy the brand not just for the product but for what it does and stands for in the society.

3. Go for hearts not just wallets

Move from short term thinking to long term brand equity. Tactical / promotion campaigns only result in sales blips but do not lead to sustainable brand growth. However, investing in the brand not only builds long term equity but also improves the performance of tactical and other promotional campaigns. One evidence of this is that during the pandemic the brands which continued to grow were the ones that invested in brand purpose and focused on creating strong human connections rather than just transactional relationships.

4. Go for feelings not just features

Experience is the new premium. Today a brand is 1 part experience, 1 part community and 1 part product. And it is the experience and the community that is driving the preference and ultimately sales of the products today. According to GWI, there has been a constant rise in consumers preferring to buy a brand simply for the experience of being part of the community built around it. And this trend has been further accelerated by Covid-19 when people are more price conscious & turning to online reviews to make safe purchase decisions. Hence in order to earn a premium on the feature, brands will not wrap it in a human centered experience that excites consumers and makes them want to share it with their friends and families

5. Go for crazy not lazy

This takes us back to the very first point of this piece which is to ‘Resist the Usual’. Brands will be tempted to adopt herd mentality and make safe marketing choices which help maximize ROI and keep the business afloat during the pandemic. However, it will be the bold moves and unnatural choices that will bring in the most growth and create lasting relationships with the consumers. For example, KFC asking consumers to stop ‘finger licking’ to encourage healthy eating habits during Covid-19 or Dettol partnering with Tik Tok to create a global handwash challenge in India which got more than 8 million views or Nike urging people to play indoors are some of the brave moves which not only brought these brands closer to their consumers but also created new business opportunities for them

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About this series: 5 Lion Experts’ Byte is a series where Lion & Lion experts share tips and insights on different aspects of the ever-evolving marketing landscape, from social media, creative, strategy to digital marketing.