Changes in Marketing Messaging

Part
01
of three
Part
01

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.
Part
02
of three
Part
02

Changes in Marketing Messaging - Luxury Goods

COVID-19 pandemic has radically changed consumer behavior in affected countries, and leading brands had to reconsider how they interact with their clients. Many brick and mortar luxury brands to alter their marketing messaging strategies to reach customers in lockdown who can no longer visit their stores. The use of mobile applications, social media, generation of messages of hope, and contribution towards fighting the pandemic are the most common strategies.

Using Cause Marketing to Increase Brand Visibility and Affinity

  • Luis Vuitton reached consumers with a social media marketing message titled "Love has no Fear." The campaign launched on Weibo, a Chinese social networking site. It garnered 4.2 billion views within seven days.
  • The campaign helped in increasing brand visibility and affinity as the company showed solidarity with the Covid-19 stricken Chinese. As the company delivered messages of hope, it increased brand engagement.
  • Luis Vuitton converted some of its perfume manufacturing factories to hand sanitizer's manufacturing plants to combat the global shortage. The move indicated that the company was committed to the fight against the virus.

The Use of Instagram Insta-stories

  • Gucci debuted it’s first-ever mascara in early March using a guerrilla marketing tactic on Instagram. The luxury brand used an augmented reality Instagram filter known as “Eyes-o-Matic” to introduce its new beauty product.
  • The campaign leveraged the power of the social media. There has been a 20 percent increase in social media usage since COVID-19 broke out. Consequently, social media platforms are providing more visibility for brands than other channels.

Messaging on chat platforms, such as We-Chat

  • Chanel used we-chat to send messages to customers about the changes it had made as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak. The luxury brand had shortened its operating hours and used we-chat to inform the customers. In addition, it has been using the platform to provide safety updates and information about shipping deliveries. The method has helped it to reach as many people as possible because of the increased use of the application during the lockdown.

Updates on the Impact of the Pandemic on Business

  • Burberry announced to its stakeholders that a third of its stores in Mainland China were not operating while the remaining stores have reduced their hours of operations. The information allowed customers to make purchases online instead of going to the stores.
  • Burberry also announced to its stakeholders that it would cooperate with the government in its attempt to stop the spread of Covid-19. The announcement was a message to stakeholders that the company is a responsible citizen committed to the health goals of the people and the nation

Marketing Products Related to Covid-19 through Influencers

  • Fendi has been marketing designer face masks using influencers such as “The rich kids of instagram”. As a result, designer masks have become a fashion statement in some places during in the early months of 2020.

Research Strategy

We used the search words marketing, COVID 19, luxury brands to arrive at relevant articles. Most of the articles focused on four main brands; Luis Vuitton, Gucci, Burberry, and Fendi. After getting information on the shift in their marketing strategies from the articles, we scanned their social media sites, such as Instagram and Twitter, to search for updates.

Part
03
of three
Part
03

Changes in Marketing Messaging - Fashion Brands

In response to COVID-19, many brick-and-mortar fashion brands decided to temporarily shut down their offline stores and utilize the technology to use their online platforms instead. Additionally, they also contribute to supporting the aid of COVID-19 by providing the needs for the people affected by the pandemic. The screenshots of the campaigns are provided in the attached Google doc.

Donating Its Profits to COVID-19-related Organizations

  • In response to COVID-19, SKIMS announced that 20% of the Cotton Collection's profits will go to Baby2Baby's COVID-19 emergency response program. Baby2Baby is a non-profit organization that provides children below 12 who live in poverty with diapers, clothing, and other necessities. Over the last one week, Baby2Baby has distributed approximately 1.5 million items, including diapers, formula, hygiene products, clothing, and blankets, to families impacted by COVID-19.
  • The American clothing brand, Everlane, has partnered up with Feeding America to donate all the profits from its 100% Human Collection to Feeding America's COVID-19 Response Fund. The 100% Human Collection includes t-shirts and sweatshirts, with pricing ranging from $25 for t-shirts to $48 for sweatshirts
  • Feeding America's COVID-19 Response Fund will use the collected fund to help individuals, families, and seniors who rely on food banks. Feeding America also works with the government leaders to guarantee the emergency response to COVID-19, including "strong supports in food, funds, and flexibility for federal nutrition programs."
  • Sézane will donate 10% of its sales to the foundation of the French Hospital to support its emergency aid until the end of March. This brand also supports volunteer projects related to the aid of COVID-19, such as "La Resistance des Chefs" to provide meals for hospital staff in France.
  • In early March 2020, DVF donated all the profits from the sale of t-shirts with the phrase "Be Strong Wuhan, With Love From DVF" to the Adream Foundation. Adream Foundation is an organization that provides sterilization services for Chinese schools and educational equipment. The fashion brand also announced that it will donate 10% of its profits from all orders to the World Health Organization and No Kid Hungry.
  • Scamp and Dude established a one-day event where it would donate a sweatshirt to NHS staff on the coronavirus frontline for every purchased sweatshirt in 24 hours. This brand managed to donate 440 sweatshirts to the doctors and nurses in University College London Hospital and Kings College Hospital.

Shifting Sales to Online Platforms

  • Although the retail stores of Everlane close due to the COVID-19 pandemic effect, customers still can purchase its products through its online store.
  • Aritzia closes its offline boutiques to protect its staff and customers and focuses to sell its products on the online platform.
  • Scamp and Dude also closes its physical store to protect the safety of its staff and customers.
  • In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Sézane decided to temporarily close its stores.
  • This fashion brand announced that it temporarily closes its storefronts to protect the safety of its staff and customers.

Offering Free Shipping and Returns

  • In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Aritzia offers free shipping on all orders and free returns. Furthermore, Aritzia also extends its online return policy from 14 days to 30 days.
  • Sézane also offers free shipping for all orders except for destinations with express delivery and free returns for customers who reside in France, Belgium, UK, Germany, Spain, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, Finland, Sweden, Austria, Ireland, Slovakia, Denmark, and Luxembourg.

Allocating Its Sales Profits For Staff's Payment During Closure

  • As the factory and offline stores are forced to close, many retail employees are at risk of losing their income. Providing incentives to retail workers may be an effective marketing strategy for fashion brands to increase brand awareness, brand loyalty, and employee retention.
  • Aritzia announced that it will donate all of its profits to Aritzia Community Relief Fund to support its employees and their families in need.
  • Aviator Nation offered 20% off its entire items for the customers who use the code "STAYCOZY." This company will use 100% of its sales profits directly for the payment of its employees during the temporary closure.

Being Socially Conscious

  • To gain brand awareness and loyalty, brands need to be sensitive about the current social issues since consumers care about the social impact that those brands make.
  • DVF provides book recommendations on its Instagram channel to encourage its customers to stay at home.
  • Scamp and Dude offers its Superhero comforters for doctors, nurses, or ambulance staff who needed to leave their children behind for work.

COVID-19-related Marketing Messages

  • The marketing message that SKIMS uses is: "Shop for a cause."
  • The marketing message that Everlane uses is: "Even when we're apart, we're still #HumanTogether."
  • The marketing message that Aritzia uses is: "Always here for you."
  • The marketing messages that Scamp and Dude uses are: "Superhero has my back" and "NHS superheroes."
  • The marketing message that Sézane uses is: "Together."
  • The marketing message that DVF uses is: "Incharge at home."
  • The marketing message that Aviator Nation uses is: "Stay Cozy."
Sources
Sources

From Part 01
Quotes
  • "Nothing is more important than the safety of our employees and customers. We’re here to help you get what you need during this critical time. You can pick up your order at your local store and we’ll bring it to your car, or order on BestBuy.com and have it delivered to your home."
Quotes
  • "We’ll get you what you need with free doorstep delivery or contactless curbside pickup. https://bby.me/45zb3"
Quotes
  • "Beginning today, 3/22, we’ll be offering a contactless delivery service called Delivery@Door at all US store locations where state/local laws allow. For more info on how we will continue to serve you, please see below & click here for our full statement:"
Quotes
  • "We are working diligently during this unprecedented time to provide our customers & associates with the safest environment possible. Please see below for details on new changes we are enacting & click here for our full statement:"
Quotes
  • "Ensuring the safety of our guests and associates is always our top priority. Read more from CEO George Sherman about how we are helping keep guests and associates safe during the COVID-19 pandemic: "
Quotes
  • "COVID-19 STATUS: No delays; most orders ship within 1 business day. Learn more."
Quotes
  • "What are you doing to keep customers and staff safe? We operate in Fort Worth, Texas, and are monitoring and following all applicable workplace guidance. In addition, we have changed our procedures to ensure a safe work environment for our staff and to minimize the risk of exposure for our customers: Only essential staff directly involved in warehouse operations are working in our distribution center; all other staff are working from home. Any employee who is feeling sick or has come in contact with someone who might be sick is staying home with full pay and benefits. Staff working in our distribution center are practicing social distancing: staying at least 6 feet away from each other and taking breaks alone. We have added hand-sanitization stations in key locations around our distribution center and employees are sanitizing their hands each time they pass a station. We are sterilizing all equipment daily. All product arriving at our facility is quarantined for 24 hours before being prepared for shipment to our customers. "
Quotes
  • "GENERAL PURPOSE ALKALINE BATTERIES Quality batteries in the sizes you use most. AA, AAA, 9V, C, D. Buy separately or together in our Alkaline Batteries Variety Combo Pack (24-Pack): A full set of spares ready to go and easy to find."
Quotes
  • "RADIOS: Stay tuned-in, wherever you are. PORTABLE TABLETOP RADIOS Analog or digital tuning; AM, FM, and all 7 NOAA weather (WX) radio channels. HEADSET RADIOS Listen to AM or FM stations hands-free! POCKET RADIOS The convenience of portability!"
Quotes
  • "CONNECT TO THE BIGGEST SCREEN AT HOME Connect HDMI equipped computers and cameras to a TV for the bigger picture! HDMI to analog video converters: for older TVs https://radioshack.com/HDMI-converters HDMI cables: for newer TVs https://radioshack.com/HDMI-cables HDMI adapters: https://radioshack.com/HDMI-adapters"
Quotes
  • "TO OUR CUSTOMERS These are unprecedented times, but we’re clear on what matters most. We’re guided by our values every day. And nothing is more important to us than the health and safety of our employees, all of you, and the communities where we work and serve. In fact, nothing else comes close. "
Quotes
  • "An update on our return policy."
Quotes
  • "Our stores will continue to provide essential functions such as selling products to assist in at-home sanitation, cleanliness, and food prep and storage. New store hours are 10am-7pm where we are practicing social distancing, and we continue to ship online and local delivery."
Quotes
  • "To our valued Fry's Customers and Neighbors, Fry's Electronics extends its sincere best wishes for the health and safety of all, while as a community we address the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Fry's is closely following the guidance and directives of the CDC, WHO, and local government health authorities to ensure the safest possible store environment for our customers and our employees. We want to continue to offer a safe in-store experience while you shop for items needed for your home or business during this time of social distancing. We have increased our cleaning protocols to include all store departments, restrooms, and high-touch point surfaces, and all stores will close at 7:00 p.m. local time to allow our associates time to stock inventory and clean for next day service. Customers can also practice social distancing by using Frys.com to place orders for delivery or shipping from any Fry's Store. We encourage everyone to follow safe practices, and to follow public health organizations' guidance, so that together we may restore our communities to full health and peace of mind. And, as always, we thank you for choosing Fry's for your electronics needs."
From Part 03