Changes in Marketing Messaging - Consumer Electronics
The 2019 COVID-19 pandemic has had an unprecedented effect on societal conditions and business. Examples of how leading U.S. consumer electronic brands have positioned their brand and communicated with consumers are provided below and in the attached document. These examples relate to those brands with considerable physical store presences.
BEST BUY COVID-19 MARKETING RESPONSE
- Best Buy has made several changes to its website in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. A banner has been introduced at the top of their homepage stressing that Best Buy's priority during this time is the safety of its staff and its customers. This message also advises of several methods by which customers can obtain products whilst minimizing contact with people.
- A rotating advert on the homepage asserts "We're still here to get you what you need". This is likely in response to the temporary closing of businesses across the country to deal with the disease outbreak and Best Buy likely wishes to prevent loss of sales via misconception.
- This message of continuing on in order to meet customer needs is accentuated by the placement of an advertisement promoting Best Buy's remote consultation service, with the tagline, 'When life stands still, we help keep you going'.
- The push by authorities and businesses to enable staff to work from home is clearly quite an opportunity for Best Buy and they have reacted to it with the placement of a product category link for 'Be at home essentials'. Noticeably this is under the category of 'Healthy Home and Office', an obvious tweaking of the usual home and office grouping found on retail websites.
- Best Buy has a corporate Twitter account, however, posts quite infrequently. On 25th March 2020, however, the account posted a video advert with image stills of daily household life including working and educating from home with the accompanying caption 'We’ll get you what you need'.
GAMESTOP COVID-19 MARKETING RESPONSE
- On 22nd March Gamestop's official twitter account advised customers of a new contactless delivery service.
- Gamestop's general messaging during this period has focused on its commitment to ensuring customer and staff safety with press releases issued on 13th and 19th March 2020 to this effect that outlined their COVID-19 in-store mitigation measures.
RADIOSHACK COVID-19 MARKETING RESPONSE
- Radioshack has introduced a banner on all of its website pages informing customers that online orders have not been affected by COVID-19 and that delays are not to be expected.
- A COVID-19 FAQ section has been created on the Radioshack website which details measures taken in Radioshack stores and warehouses to mitigate the risk of transmission.
- Radioshack has actively promoted products on social media which may be useful to people caught up in disaster areas including items such as batteries and portable radios as well as products that may help in adapting homes for working from home.
BOSE COVID-19 MARKETING RESPONSE
- Similarly to other retailers Bose, has placed a lengthy message from the company president on the COVID-19 crisis which emphasizes Bose's concern for the well-being of its employees, customers, and communities where it operates.
- Also, this message perhaps seeks to avoid reputational damage that other businesses have incurred in relation to the treatment of its staff by stipulating that all of its furloughed employees would still retain benefits and salary during any period stores were not open.
- On social media Bose has not sought to promote its products as the pandemic has escalated but instead, attempted to keep customers informed of COVID's impact on operations and customer service.
FRY'S ELECTRONICS COVID-19 MARKETING RESPONSE
- On 21st March Fry's Electronics' corporate twitter account made its first post in three weeks to assert that social distancing measures were now being employed in its stores. The post also portrayed the brand's stores as providing an essential function in selling products to assist with sanitation, cleanliness, and food prep and storage.
- This update was accompanied by a more detailed post on the brand's corporate Facebook page that reinforced the company's commitment to safety amidst the COVD-19 pandemic and introduction of measures in line with the Center for Disease Control guidelines.