Collectively we still have a long road to travel before seeing COVID-19 disappear in the rearview mirror.
However, the signs of a new business landscape are beginning to appear, with some of the foggy uncertainty from the last few months slowly evaporating, revealing a new business environment. This new setting has been born out of both necessity and innovation, with companies and consumers alike simultaneously adapting to - and developing new ways of - operating under different regulations and dynamics.
A shining light that has appeared in certain areas of the business community has been the ability for companies to harness their digital presence in order to communicate heartfelt, positive messaging. Successful advertisers have struck a balance between addressing the issue of the pandemic, without taking things too far and becoming too self-serving. The strengthened brand communities enjoyed by many advertisers, hints towards a larger opportunity for companies to take stock, and re-evaluate their approach to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).
It has become clear that this new unfolding business landscape calls for a greater emphasis to be placed upon CSR. This is due to the increasingly important, and unique role that companies are playing within consumers’ day-to-day lives. With many being faced with a lower-cost lifestyle, consumption trends are shifting towards conscious and considered purchasing decisions. Unsurprisingly, a result of this is that companies are being held to much higher standards by their customers.
It is suggested that in order to meet these higher standards, companies should strive to adopt a set of certain practices:
Shift and re-prioritize business efforts to appropriately respond to current issues;
Support response efforts through acts such as donations and partnering with other brands or organizations to maximize impact;
Increase communication with stakeholders in order to instill a sense of transparency.
These three factors are all directly related to the current pandemic, however, expectations - along with overall consumer behavior - have been gradually trending towards a more socially and environmentally conscious mindset for many years. This sentiment has been amplified by the COVID-19 pandemic and is likely to continue spreading as we move forward. Therefore, brands need to address this in their advertising strategy, and in some cases even alter or extend their offering in order to fit in with these new demands.
To do so, brands should begin to ask themselves the following questions:
Is our product/service offering environmentally sustainable?
Are we being transparent with both our customers and employees?
Do we offer a safe, fair, and enjoyable work environment?
Are we actively trying to aid and work alongside the communities in which we operate?
Consumers are able to easily spot those companies whose answers to such questions are “YES” as opposed to “NO”, with the former enjoying higher levels of brand loyalty and brand integrity. Even those companies who perceive themselves to be achieving these markers should not become complacent. It is important to constantly be reviewing, renewing, and expanding upon CSR practices.
Providers, like Shuttlerock, can help brands communicate their CSR efforts by:
Creating video ads that showcase the sustainable and ethical characteristics of a product/service;
Enabling brands to quickly and easily adapt their ad’s messaging and narrative, ensuring sensitivity;
Aligning and optimizing ad creative across all placements in order to maintain consistent messaging.
The following videos were created by Shuttlerock:
Once done right and communicated effectively, the long-term payoff of increasing and promoting CSR activity can be immense for brands, giving them a trusted and respected reputation within the market. At Shuttlerock, we are experienced in working together with global brands to create bespoke video-ads that are fuelled by positive, heartfelt messaging.