Four steps that brands can take in the fourth pandemic wave - by Alexandra Caciur, Digitas Romania

24 Sep 2021 7 mins read

The general tendency of people to rely on moments of happiness or well-being as a landmark of normalcy, disregarding the ups and downs and not accepting them as a reality, has a name: "hedonistic adaptation". In this type of adaptation, those who win the lottery gradually return to the "old" level of joy.

Studies show that the huge flow of emotion from the moment of gain erodes in a maximum of one year, and their benchmark of normalcy has just changed - which can make them even more unhappy over time than before. Other gains or joys that appear in everyday life erode even faster. Moreover, a sudden shortcoming in our lives can completely destabilize us.

One of the trends we may want to give up in the next period is when we get used to returning to normal. And personally, and as people who run brands.

A vortex is already forming in the glass of water. What now appears to be "normal" on the surface may suddenly change into "boiling waters" in the months to come.

In August, according to the analysis of 155 brands from the perspective of digital health, (www.digitalhealthindex.ro) a certain calm was observed:

- pharmacies and clinics had a decreasing trend, a sign that Romanians have internalized the idea that the pandemic is a lasting one;

- The car market had a comeback - the number of registrations increased, and we had a summer full of new model launches. The level of price searches and car sales has increased a lot;

- the financial sector also grew, and revenues began to stabilize (Romanians relaxed on spending). As proof, the beginning of August was the peak of accommodation searches in Google, and the holidays were much more spontaneous;

- both retail (and the brands analyzed in FMCG) and telecom increased in August, reaching one third above the level of October 2020.

In August 2021, both brands and consumers returned to their pre-pandemic habits. But how much will the 4th wave impact the emotional state of consumers? Has the relaxation over the summer come too soon and will we return again to a stage full of fears and frustrations? Are brands ready to help consumers?It is important that in the next period we do not forget the lessons of the last year and a half. Even if I feel that I would be working on a theatrical scenario, in order to be able to achieve my goals at the end of the year, we recommend brands to take into account a few not at all simple steps.

1. To choose their place on the map of good and to think of some tactics to help the real society. Where help is needed: in support of the authorities, in children in kindergartens and schools (additionally, in finding a routine for a hybrid life between office and home), in the testing and vaccination process, in financial education, in terms of emotional balance personal and family.

2. Do not stop communication no matter what. Otherwise, brands will lose ground to competitors and pay more to recover breaks. To think about brand content so that it is native to the area of ​​storytelling and interaction: we need stories, positive thoughts, encouragement (in contrast to TV news), which annihilates panic. Which gives them hope and which gives them the chance to contribute something.

3. Ask them for a small effort, with an important purpose. (Continuing the above thought, regarding the chosen communication mix, we see from the monthly analysis that during the summer there was a gap on YouTube, the channel being used quite a bit, although it brings results. If we were to make a recommendation here, what brings both visibility and like-ability is the inclusion of YouTube in the mix of channels, and the content that performed best was the one co-created with influencers and posted by them).

4. To rethink in the context of a new state of emergency the need for promotional activities. When "the country burns", consumers react quite aggressively to approaches that involve direct selling. This phenomenon was significant in wave 1 and will continue.Hedonistic adaptation is one of the sources of human unhappiness. Combating it involves adapting to HERE and NOW, accepting things as they are, the ability to juggle multiple variables.

You can also read the articole here: Patru pași pe care îi pot parcurge brandurile în cel de-al patrulea val pandemic - Forbes.ro

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