Since mid-May, Canada’s economy has been slowly rebooting. Quebec is entering phase six of its seven-stage plan, with restaurants in the Greater Montreal Area scheduled to reopen June 22nd. Many retail businesses will be taking that as a signal to reopen themselves, or to throttle-up from the more cautious approach they took initially.
Clients will be cautious too and shopping will likely be more deliberate – think commando raid rather than window-shopping.
Reaching out to your clients through your marcom mix will be critical to ensure you connect with clients and stakeholders. Will your messaging and tactics measure up? Will they be enablers or stumbling blocks?
So, here is a suggestion. For your post-crisis reboot, bank on the familiar. For your clients it’s not nostalgia, it’s salvation.
Behavioural science has established that humans fear of loss more than they anticipate gain. You can use that to make sure you tailor your messages to your clientele’s specific needs and expectations.
Humans are change-averse because it signals loss. There is a trade off. To accept change, we have to accept losing some things that are familiar. As people get ready to step out, they will be concerned about all the changes that will impact them. They keep hearing that things will never be the same, that they will have to deal with a “new normal”. Really? Does it have to be that bad?
If you’ve made it this far in business, you most assuredly know your customers. What are the top 3 or 5 things they really – I mean really – like about your business? Make sure your messaging kicks off with that. Emerging from months of confinement and wary of their new surroundings, people will be looking for the familiar – the people, the products, the services and the experience. Tell them up front which of those things will still be there for them.
Once you have reassured them that the essence of your brand still burns strong, explain what has changed because of the pandemic. “Some things will be different, we will have to maintain a 2-metre distance, wash hands, etc.” Assuaging their fear of loss in part one of the message, makes the acceptance of part two easier.
Accentuating the familiar will make your message stick out in a good way. You will make a stronger empathetic connection and crisis management studies show that empathy is a much sought-after commodity, in these crazy times.