The pandemic is having a significant impact on businesses and the way they currently communicate with their customers. We have put together several examples to create a common thread of a new everyday communication strategy.

The general idea that all brands have started is “humanity in action.”


What Humanity in Action means

Despite massive changes, culturally and economically speaking, brands must keep their core values ​​unchanged to not disturb consumers.

An example of this is the trendy Pret A Manger restaurant chain in the UK, which increased the British public admiration and engagement through the actions it took during this time. It donated surplus food to the homeless; it donated to hospitals and had delivery points near hospitals. Thus, the meaning of the communication strategy construction, once the pandemic started, was represented by an accentuated association with the brand values.

Other companies focused on health and supported the authorities by making their production facilities available. For example, French giant LVMH, which owns some of the world’s most famous luxury brands including Louis Vuitton, Celine, Christian Dior, and Givenchy, has produced disinfectants in its fragrance factories to support the French healthcare system. Nike closed its stores at the end of March, saying, “the health of every athlete is the brand priority right now.”


Exploration of new channels for new consumer needs

You thought e-brands were the luckiest of that time, right? Well, it is not like that. They have also struggled in ​​communication as they have made a constant effort to adapt their platforms so that consumers receive real-time information on their order’s progress. For them, the battle was how successful they had been in keeping their consumers informed.


In addition to the need for information, another critical requirement was to be connected. As a result, according to a consultancy firm Kantar’s study, the most used social network has been Whatsapp. Meanwhile, the portal shows that WhatsApp discussions between users and brands increased by 500% in April this year in ​​customer support.

And maybe this direction of support is a niche that brands could build in the marketing arena in the next period, given that they have so many apps at their fingertips that they can be in touch with. Direct with customers, especially since Facebook already has a dedicated button for subscribers to contact you on Whatsapp from the Facebook page directly.


Beyond big data

Data is an integral part of marketing, but the experiences that impact consumers aren’t just data-driven. Because it is at least during this period that consumers’ needs have changed continuously, brands have had to find a way to be in constant contact with customers, sometimes even anticipating their needs and adapting to them in real-time.

Two other tools that caught my attention during this time are Exploding Topics, which identifies how specific topics are moving online by identifying significant trends and sub-trends, and Trend Explorer, through which you can identify the hottest trends. Necessary depending on the industry.


Facts support authenticity

The brands that have been successful in creating engagement during this time have had authentic conversations, such as between friends. When they have a positive experience with the brand, consumers become brand advocates in their community.

Actions cannot be superficial. Concrete steps must support any declared value. For example, the GLAMI search engine has strong rhetoric in sustainability, creating sustainable materials and fashion filters, a materials guide, and better showcasing local brands and their brand stories.


Following the positive reactions from users, GLAMI decided to create, dedicated exclusively to sustainable fashion.

“GLAMI is a platform that brings together 3,000 online stores and over 45 million visitors per month in 15 countries, so we saw an opportunity to promote environmental change responsibly. We already have over 250 sustainable brands in one place, on, and we know that this is just the beginning,” says Tomáš Hodboď, CEO of GLAMI.

In conclusion, the difficult period we are going through, starting in March of this year, has prompted more brands to practice active listening to consumers. Internal teams had to react and make real-time decisions and prove authenticity, the primary attitude to which more and more consumers have responded lately.

There are three questions that we, the people in the Communication and Marketing department, should have in mind in the next period: When is it right to serve ?, When is it right to sell ?, When is it time to be silent?


Diana Serban, Ph.D. in Communication Sciences. Diana is an enthusiast MarCom Professional and a Content Marketing specialist. Former political journalist and MarCom Specialist for national and international brands, she owns a content marketing agency based in Bucharest, with a regional office in Paris, being very keen on searching for new communication trends in the network society.

She has recently studied Digital Marketing @CREA Genève. She is also a Ph. D. in Communication Sciences, focusing on CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility), and licensed in Communication Sciences, with an MA in Business Management and Journalism.