Kshama Chhapkhanawalla, Director of Sol Brand Solutions Pvt Ltd.
Kshama Chhapkhanawalla, Director of Sol Brand Solutions Pvt Ltd.

How smart managers handle branding amidst Covid-19

ANI | Updated: Apr 30, 2021 19:04 IST

New Delhi [India], April 30 (ANI/SRV Media): The outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic has upended the projections of each business. However, digital marketing as a business has surged. B2B and B2C companies both increased their spending on digital: may it be creating a content marketing plan, or enhancing website UI/UX, or foraying into online selling.
While all industries have been downsizing, the online advertising industry has been hiring talent and increasing pay scales. The transition to remote work prompted by the social distancing measures has been an added advantage to Digital Marketing & Branding Agencies. The maverick graphic designer who gets ideas at the oddest hours and the brooding copywriter who likes perfect silence while writing each line truly loves the work-from-home scenario.
There is a commendable increase in social media usage, and the crowd comes from the ones who are first-time users of the internet. As people are staying indoors they are forced to adapt to change and do their shopping online or make use of other services like supplies of veggies, milk, medicines, food, grocery and even consult a doctor online.
According to a Nielson Report on Covid-19's impact on the changing landscape in media, 'Mid to the senior leadership of most organizations, including consumers from 35-44 age bracket increased their internet consumption by 11 per cent, while millennials observed an average increase of 5-7 per cent. Similarly, prominent platforms such as Facebook (+18 per cent), TikTok (+20 per cent), Instagram (+20 per cent), and Whatsapp (+17 per cent) have all witnessed rises in the number of sessions per week per user.' However, what does all this mean for brands? According to Ms. Kshama Chhapkhanawalla, Director, SOL Brand Solutions, there are 5 key points to keep in mind;
1. Brands need to focus on their interaction design and keep it simple:
Customer experience should be the centre of all communication design. Imagine a 65year old ordering groceries online for the 1st time. Is your website easy enough to navigate? Is the font easily readable? Does it have clear categories, indexing and information? Read the needs of your consumer to thrive in your business.
2. Brands need to create compelling content in video format:

According to a recent study by Animoto, 'Videos are a consumers' favourite type of content.' During this scenario, video has become the new normal enabler that is bridging the generation gap through the use of its powerful attributes of transmitting information, and educating, collaborating, entertaining and socializing. So, video marketing needs to be an integral part of any brands' strategy.
3. Back your product sales with lots of customer reviews, product explainer videos and influencer recommendations:
With so many people buying online there is an increased dependency on online product research for making purchase decisions. Marketers need to ensure that the aura around the product is positive and each feedback is taken seriously and replied to. Responsiveness and responsible actions are the pillars of online sales.
4. Explore OTT platforms that are relevant to your brands:
OTT platforms are on the rise and they are here to stay. A surge in viewership on these platforms during peak lockdown has prompted brands to explore advertising, content integrations and sponsored shows on streaming sites and increase their spending on advertising on platforms such as Zee5, SonyLiv, Voot, MX Player and Disney+Hotstar etc.
5. Be committed to a cause and be environmentally conscious:
This might seem odd to make it in the top 5, but this is something that Kshama stands by. SOL Digital is now progressively marketing to the new Gen Z, and this generation is concerned about the environment and is increasingly less trusting of brands. From eco-friendly sanitary napkins to responsibly sourced diamonds, people have started to 'care' more.
For companies that are resilient and strive to remain relevant, marketing strategies are dynamic and always have room for feedback and a method of changing and evolving. While this is essential, what is even more important is that the core of the brand should be strong, unchangeable and genuinely customer-centric. It is only then that the brand can ride the tide of the pandemic and emerge even more reputed, relevant and customer-focused.
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