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Taking care: why compassion is a branding essential

Jul 28, 2020
Looking back to earlier this year, many brands shifted their tone as a reaction to the situation we all found ourselves in – adopting a caring and understanding voice in their communications to reflect the times. But as we move forward into a new kind of normality, new studies show that consumers aren’t necessarily ready for brands to return to their previous approach. Considerate communications are here to stay, and there are simple and effective ways to incorporate this approach into your brand message. 

In a recent survey, Twitter canvassed 1,000 UK users and found that just 7% wanted brands to return to the way they communicated pre-Covid-19.


Businesses that revert to old strategies risk contributing to the noise and fading out, whereas those that lead by example have a real opportunity to form strong connections. This trend is reflected among the emerging Gen Z demographic as well. In the US, DoSomething carried out a survey for those aged between 13-25, focusing on what kind of brand communications they’d like to see going forward. They found that 47% wanted to hear more positive and uplifting stories from brands; 48% wanted resources that help consumers, such as access to mental health support; and 55% would like to see information on how businesses are helping local communities. What these stats show is that success in our new world may have to come from new strategies. Instead of shying away from difficult topics, many consumers now expect brands to contribute to the conversation and help effect real change.

We’ve seen several great examples of brands tuning in to the changes in the outside world, and more importantly, their demographic. 

doordash

Doordash has been essential in keeping restaurants in business, and their recent ad offers a message of thanks to customers in an equally comedic and compassionate way. As a voiceover champions the restaurant workers for doing their bit, a series of small screen stars interrupt to say that without restaurants, there’d be no actors – as these jobs helped them through the start of their career. This comically selfish interlude only highlights the individuals we should really be supporting, and Doordash ends the commercial with the proud statement that they’re ‘partnering with the National Restaurant Association to lend a hand.’

British Gas


British Gas’ ‘helping every way we can’ advert is filmed from the perspective of their engineers, mid-lockdown. They drive down empty roads, readjust their PPE and greet customers from a safe social distance – proving, as the line goes, that they’re helping every way they can.


Cadbury

Cadbury chose to highlight the touching habits many of us have picked up, and the ones we’ll look back on fondly – with people calling in to check on friends and neighbours both old and new. It offers the message ‘this doesn’t need to end’ which acknowledges the realities we’ve faced and gives a hopeful perspective – which should be the takeaway for other brands. This new level of compassion being shown doesn’t need to end, nor do your consumers want it to.

It’s one thing knowing the importance of compassion; consistently delivering it is another. However, the telephone is a key tool in achieving this – so your caller experience is a golden opportunity to show just how much you care. That doesn’t just have to come from your representatives on the end of the line, though. Introducing productions throughout the caller journey is a simple way to demonstrate your values, engage your audience with the information they’re seeking, and vitally, show callers you care. Out of Hours productions can prove you’re always ready to help by offering up alternative contact details so callers are never left stranded. And greeting messages set the tone from the moment your number is dialled. 

With this at the forefront of the consumers mind, it’s important to make sure your copy is working as hard as possible to deliver reassurance. The key to this is expert, on-brand copywriting, trusted to professionals who craft a message with care in mind. When the words strike this compassionate tone, it’ll go a long way towards winning their loyalty for the long term.