The pandemic brought its fair share of challenges over the last few years, and 2022 looks to be no different. Inflation is at its highest level since the 80s. The energy crisis is raging on. It’s no surprise that Ovo Energy went viral when they told customers to cuddle their pets and keep their oven doors open to stay warm…
In this time of uncertainty, one thing is clear: brands need to take a step back and consider what rising costs could mean for them and their marketing. Want to stay relevant? Keep reading.
The importance of reading the room
Consumers are changing their buying decisions and prioritising essential spending over luxury purchases. So, if your key messaging revolves around something like self-gifting, you might find it falls flat in 2022.
But how do you adjust your messaging to reflect the current climate? While you can’t exactly do a 180 and change your business offering, you can make sure you read the room and communicate value at every single turn.
In today’s environment, simply talking about the quality of your products or services isn’t enough. You need to prove their value and get across their benefits by creating content that’s relevant, actionable and, unlike Ovo, sensible!
Where to start?
The best way to assess your brand messaging is to take yourself on your own customer journey. Revisit your website with fresh eyes, scroll through your social channels and, if you have time, jump into a couple of blogs. Does the messaging still feel fit for purpose today? Or do certain words, phrases or tips stick out like a sore thumb?
If you find that things are really missing the mark, it might be worth not only a website audit and refresh, but a review of your entire brand guidelines – especially your tone of voice. Remember, it’s not just what you say, but how you say it.
A good tone of voice is one that’s consistent, confident and engaging. It should also meet the needs and expectations of your audience. Take the Co-op as an example. In December 2021, rather than airing a multi-million pound Christmas advertising campaign, they launched their first-ever live advert to highlight the issue of food waste. It also put the spotlight on the work of a local charity and how they’re bringing people together to eat, learn new skills and connect.
In the same month, ITV launched a heart-warming Christmas advert as part of its ‘Britain Get Talking’ campaign. The short clip highlights the importance of mental health and listening to your loved ones. I think we can all agree that, after the last few years we’ve had, we could all benefit from paying a bit more attention to our overall wellbeing.
What else can you do?
As a brand, it’s also essential to listen to your customers – and keep listening. There are several ways to gauge reaction to any new messages you’ve tried out, or find out what matters to your audience most.
One is by posting surveys or polls on your social media channels – LinkedIn and Twitter are two good platforms for this. A poll we ran last year, for example, showed us what aspects of B2B marketing people may be investing in more than others.
If you’re running ads, you could also try split testing key messages to see how they perform. That way, you’ll get a feel for what resonates with your audience, and can gather any feedback (such as Facebook comments) in a controlled environment.
Not running ads? Consider investing in social listening tools to help you understand what your target audience is talking about at the moment. These scour social media for mentions of your brand and any keywords or topics relevant to you. You can even keep tabs on how people feel about your entire industry.
Ready to refine your message?
The current climate has forced brands to rethink their messaging, and we’re here to help those brands ensure it’s as relevant and relatable as possible.
Our brand workshops provide a fantastic opportunity to position or reposition yourself before you present your message to your audience. They give you a crystal-clear idea of your identity and allow you to build a more authentic narrative of your brand.
Get in touch with us today and we’ll start preparing for your session!