Ever since I posted the article ”Support Marketing: What it is and why every business should be implementing it right now.” last week, I’ve been watching with great interest the ways in which a lot of brands have started to adapt to a support marketing approach.
I’ve looked at the different ways in which they’ve responded to the COVID-19 situation and how they’ve updated their marketing strategies accordingly.
At this point, I think I can safely place them into one of three categories.
- Pivoted 180 degrees successfully and positioned themselves as relevant, compassionate and genuine.
- Missing the point somewhat and coming across as fake and desperate to jump on the support bandwagon.
- Business as usual. Change nothing.
Here are a few of my observations so far…
A major supermarket chain claiming that their sole reason for being is to feed and support local families during this difficult time. They piled on the sentiment, thanked us for our support, and then appeared to request our thanks in return to go and shop with them.
What concerned me about this strategy is that this is a national supermarket, part of a duopoly, and a subsidiary of an even bigger company that continues to make massive profits, yet their approach appeared more along the lines of that of a charity that feeds the homeless.
To be honest, it left me feeling a little uncomfortable, and in my mind failed miserably.
This second example sparked my interest and comes from two competing brands in the camping and outdoor adventure space.
With the lead up to the Easter long weekend traditionally a busy time for these retailers, obviously with all the ‘stay at home’ restrictions in place, this year was going to be very different.
What surprised me here was that brand A didn’t appear to let this phase them. They went ahead as normal, encouraging their customers to come in and purchase a tent, sleeping bag and fishing rod to head out into the great outdoors over Easter. Yep, seriously.
Brand B on the other hand came up with a very novel idea of camping in your own back yard. They still encouraged people to come in and purchase camping equipment, but with this clever twist they acknowledged the difficulties their customers are facing, and then provided them with a novel and fun solution. Winner winner!
Finally, (and this may surprise many) I’m giving a big tick to one of the big banks.
Financial struggle is very real at the moment. We all know that. So, the last thing we want to see from the fat cats in the big banks is a slick ad campaign about how wonderful they are, and how warm and fuzzy we should all be feeling about them.
Instead, we just want to know how they can help us.
I give credit to this particular bank, who have stripped things right down to basics. They’ve identified the top few concerns they know their customers will be worried about, and they’ve said it straight up how they can assist with these concerns.
Simple branding and simple messaging delivered in a very straightforward way that actually conveys some real empathy. Although the big banks still have a long way to go to win over the public consciousness, I think in this case they implemented a support marketing strategy quite successfully.
So, these are just a few of my observations from this week. I’ll be watching with great interest to see what strategies the big brands run with in the coming week.
Who will hit it out of the park? Who will fall over? Who will redeem themselves? Who will disappear altogether?
Only time will tell.
I always love to receive feedback (positive or constructive) on this or any of my posts. Feel free to contact me at any time.