It has been approximately eight weeks since most of the United States has sequestered. Washing hands, social distancing, home-schooling, shelter in place, hydroxychloroquine, PPE and PPP are now part of the new vocabulary associated with the coronavirus pandemic.
During this time, business as usual has become, well… unusual. With so many businesses deemed non-essential, and thus, closed for in-person transactions, pivots to online ordering and Zoom interactions are now the norm. Essential businesses that are permitted to open have their own challenges, with limited store hours, installing plexiglass point of sale barriers and six-feet queues at checkout, plus the added expense to sanitize and clean.
We are living in interesting times.
Overnight, businesses and brands have been forced to change how they do business. It is no longer survival of the fittest. Instead, those that adapt will survive. Not only on the operations side but also via marketing.
Since March, COVID-19 has spawned a new marketing lexicon. Contactless delivery, curbside pickup, no touch service. These words are baked into every television or radio commercial, reassuring customers it is safe to do business with them. Brands such as banks, insurance companies and healthcare services have switched gears from selling to community-centric, “we are in this together” messaging to connect on an emotional level.
Under the veil of public safety, in the near-term, conducting business inside a pandemic will require brands to test their creativity and agility in order to adapt to continuously changing market conditions. Those that do will survive and thrive.