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Talk Social: 19 May, 2020 – Brands consider their reopening comms strategy and more

Brands consider their reopening communication strategy

More shops are preparing to reopen their doors after the government gave the go-ahead for a return to business for high-street retailers from June 15th. These brands will need to pay close attention to their communication strategies as consumers will be sure to scrutinise every decision and call out any businesses behaving irresponsibly.

Home improvements stores B&Q and Homebase were among the first major UK retailers to reopen at the start of this month, following their ‘essential’ classification from the government. According to recent research from Alva, 81 per cent of consumers felt positive about the way the brand reopened and only one per cent said they felt negatively to the brand as a result of the reopening.

This is certainly in part due to the brands stressing the importance of in-store mandatory social distancing measures to keep employees and customers safe in their communications. Brands will need to be thoughtful about their own strategies and follow the examples set by businesses who were successful.

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Executives warn that the retail sector will struggle to recover as shoppers return

Retailers have warned that the reopening of non-essential stores in England from mid-June will not end the sector’s woes.

The British Retail Consortium estimated the lockdown had cost non-food retailers £1.8bn in lost sales. Now, the trade body predicted many of its members would “still be in a fight for survival” once the lockdown ended.

The sector was already struggling before the crisis with more shoppers increasingly switching to online purchases. This trend accelerated during the lockdown as online shopping became the only way to buy most goods.

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Online product trends give insight into lockdown life

As the UK enters its 10th week of lockdown, consumer shopping behaviour reflects how many have become more established in their quarantine lifestyles.

A report from Inmar Intelligence has shown from two months of online shopping behaviour how consumers have adapted to quarantine. Products related to comfort have all increased, with pyjamas up 73 per cent and candles up 817 per cent. Productivity related products are up as well, including ink cartridges up 97 per cent and all-in-one laptops up 85 per cent.

It is interesting for brands to consider what the trends mean for their products and marketing and whether these trends will indeed carry on beyond the lockdown period.

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LinkedIn releases data on how companies are talking about COVD-19

In what will come as no surprise, LinkedIn has reported that it’s seeing a massive increase in company posts mentioning ‘COVID-19’ and ‘working from home’ over the past few months.

LinkedIn’s latest report, as well as showing a spike in brands mentioning the virus, reveal how engagement to coronavirus-related content grew by up to 30 per cent – reflecting an appetite for informative content from businesses.

Additionally, bands mentioning ‘working from home’  saw an even bigger increase in engagement, with these posts on average receiving 50 per cent more engagement than the average post.

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Instagram adds new feature for supporting users’ well-being

Instagram has announced a series of guides to help users connect with expert organisations and share tips on looking after one’s well-being, such as “maintaining connection with others or managing anxiety or grief.”

The guides can be viewed when opening a participating account, for example the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, @afspnational. By tapping the new booklet-like icon right under the account’s Stories, users can see video materials and posts the creator has curated, along with helpful tips and advice on a range of well-being topics. 

Instagram decided to launch the feature with a focus on well-being due to the impact of the pandemic but has suggested it plans to expand the feature to include recommendations and tips on a variety of topics from influencers.

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