In crisis time, brands should be empathetic while communicating with customers: Report
21n78e creative labs has released a research report analysing the state of Indians during these tough times
The onset of COVID-19 has changed life as we know it. Due to the mysterious ways of contracting the virus, the world has opted for a lockdown of all sectors as an immediate response to countering the virus. This includes the complete shutting down of all operations and an order to practise social distancing. Given such situations where individuals are facing conflicts within oneself and with the outer world, there can be a severe psychological impact. While such an impact may not always be overtly visible, there is always an after effect. With mental health being a priority in today’s world and countries like India trying to increase awareness, it is important for brands to play its part by being conscious of the messaging they are sending out to the world. They must be situation sensitive while tailoring their messaging framework. It is hence, important to understand the state of mind of the consumer before advertising to them.
21n78e creative labs has released a research report analyzing the state of Indians during these tough times. The report put together by the 21n78e team sheds light on how the people of India are reacting to the situation and analyzes their current state of mind. This report was created with the help of a survey with 376 Indians across the country and of all age groups.
According to the report titled 'Dont just be hyper local, be hyper sensitive', in such a situation, when people are feeling vulnerable an low, it is very important for advertisrs to frame their messaging appropriately. There are two things in partiular that brands need to keep in mind while communicating with their customers during any crisis.
Empathy: Above everything else, such situaions call for empathy. Brands need to be able to put themselves in their customers shoes and attmpt to gauge how they truly feel, before adveising to them.
Paying attention: Brands need to lend a ear to their customers in thier time of crisis and listen to what they have to say and how they feel. They need to build a messaging framework that offers support, comfort and hope to their customers.
"Overall, we can conclude that brands need to be more empathetic and understanding while communicating to their customers and must let them know that they are with them, every step of the way," stated the report.
The team has used the popular Kübler-Ross five stages of grief to do this analysis. The stages of grief and mourning are universal and occur in response to a myriad of things. They are experienced by people from all walks of life, across many cultures. There are five stages of grief that were first proposed by Elisabeth Kübler-Ross in her 1969 book On Death and Dying which are denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance.
While this study is heavily influenced by the stages of grief, it does not attempt to analyse the intensity of grief itself, as done in the field of psychology. On the contrary, this report attempts to interpret human emotions to decipher what stage of grief an individual or a group of individuals are at, during the onset of the crisis. Understanding this will help brands structure their messaging in a way that is understanding and emphatic of their customers mental state.
Sudhir Nair, Founder and CEO, says “There has been a lot of talk around the New Normal. However, I do feel, the New Normal is an accelerated version of the world that was waiting to happen. While the ground realities of business and operations is witnessing a fundamental shift, a lot of it driven by a shifting consumer mindset. The research is to understand the impact on consumers and look at pointers that can help brands to better communicate with the intended TG. It is akin to fast-forwarding few years to get to an impending reality. The research has thrown up some very interesting findings.”
Don Bosco, CSO and Branch Head South, says “For all us, the current time has come as a surprise and we are trying to cope with this current situation. We wanted to look deeper into the emotional aspects with this initiative. This research will help brands to broadly understand the stage of grief Indians are going through currently and craft narratives accordingly. Brands planning to communicate to their consumers should have empathy as their core value and start getting into the shoes of the consumers to be on their side as a friend in need and co-exist. This can go a long way in building long term relationships with the consumers.”
To read the full report, pls click here.
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