Keeping Relevant in Challenging Times | YM Group

By Debbie Conetta

Head of New Business Development

While many well-known brands are talking to their customers in a relevant and considerate way, others are not and trying to sell with aggressive offers. A company I have never bought from, maybe only clicked through to their
site a handful of times, have just given me VIP access and a huge discount. I understand that in these uncertain and unsettling times it is difficult to know what the right thing is to do.

Questions many of our clients have asked us are..

  • ‘Should I still be contacting my customers or is it better to hold off until life returns to or starts to become normal again? ’
  • ‘Is it OK to get in touch when they have far more important issues to deal with?’
  • ‘Should you be reaching out to audiences that have never bought from or possibly heard of you?’

The answer really depends on what your brand sells, what you are hoping to achieve and of course if your business is still operational.

If you are primarily known as a ‘Bricks and Mortar’ retailer with a fully functional website and safely operated warehouse, then sending a message to your customers to let them know they can still shop with you if they need to, is relevant and should be well received. If you are in Gardening, DIY, Toys, Active Wear, Casual Clothing and Food then absolutely speak to your customer.

Do you offer a range of products and services that could be useful in this current climate? Then why not spread the net further and get into the homes of those who may not have heard of you before now. Amongst the doom, gloom and home schooling, a well-written email or a nice piece of mail dropping through the letterbox will be a welcoming distraction. If you are sending something physical out, letterboxes will be less crowded than usual. It may just be enough to keep your business running and for your customers to know you are still there.

Don’t promise speedy delivery, if you cannot guarantee this. No one knows what will happen 24 hours from now. In the spirit of ‘enough for all’, stay away from 2 for 1 and BOGOF offers as these are not appropriate for now. Don’t tell everyone they are a VIP but keep it simple and sincere. Consumers are smart…..except when it comes to year 5 maths, or maybe that’s just me!?

If you feel your brand’s focus is not appropriate at this time and your customers are unlikely to buy from you, staying in touch is still a good thing to do. Tell them how your business is getting through the lock down, share home-schooling tips, recipes or even how this is affecting you and your family. Stay positive and don’t be afraid to acknowledge the scary times we are all living in – after all that is what we are all trying to do.

Some brands are doing this brilliantly like Silver by Mail & The White Company, but the stand-out example is from Brook Taverner, where the owner put together a light-hearted journey in the form of a blog with stories of how he and his family are getting through this. His content is as memorable as it is genuine. To read his blog click here.

Some companies are donating a percentage of sales to the NHS or giving discounts to NHS workers. Others are donating directly to charities who are being impacted by falling donations.

So, in summary… as you and your family stay safe, be relevant, be genuine and be sincere to your market. Customers will remember you more for this, than an unsuitable offer, in this current climate.

Categories: Blog