Recent months have proved challenging for businesses in more ways than one. The way in which a company communicates with its clients ranks high on this list, with companies large and small adapting to shifting consumer priorities as lockdown continues. We’ve seen in recent years an undeniable shift in brand messaging. Even before COVID-19, consumers in B2B and B2C markets have resonated with messaging that is delivered in an authentic, congruent way by the companies they work with and purchase from.

And as lockdown sunk its teeth into the world, attempts to change that messaging have been made by most companies. Sadly, not all of them got it right. Here’s how.

Originality backfires

Particularly at the start of 2020, brands became cautious. The writing was on the wall as far as the pandemic was concerned, leaving businesses in need of messaging and fearful of doing it wrong. News, as always focusing on sensational stories, started to come in of companies being criticized for how they commiserated with and talked to their audiences.

This is new in the situation, but it’s not without precedent. A business that has spoken in a way that is perceived as inauthentic can anger its audience and consumers polled on the subject consistently state that they appreciate authenticity in a brand and strongly dislike an approach that appears disingenuous.

A light touch

One of the simpler ways in which brands have alienated or frustrated their audiences is through talking to them too much! Recent research has indicated that as many as 51% of UK adults feel that the companies they follow and pay attention too are over-communicating, causing them to have a poorer perception of that company.

And yet, it’s important to support your customers and to let them know that you sincerely care for their difficulties. Whether you are a B2B business or a consumer-focused service focused on Everyday Lending, there is genuine value to your customers in creating and sharing a dialogue with them.

Mindsets and priorities

It’s hard to have a real conversation with your audience if you don’t know exactly who they are and what they want! A business that proceeds from a shaky position in this regard is liable to miss the mark, potentially alienating parts of their audience and customer base in an effort to start a conversation with them.

A company that knows intimately who they are providing a service or product to, however, will do better. Consumer habits change, and COVID-19 has sparked a shift in priorities across all demographics. Now more than ever, it’s critical that any company that wishes to do more for its audience knows who they are, how they are feeling and what their priorities are.

By being in touch with your audience in this way, you are able to connect on a more meaningful level with them. This can provide genuine comfort and help during a time as difficult as this, elevating a company from a provider to something that is more meaningful to those it does business with.

A worthy effort

The current pandemic has highlighted the need for dialogue and connection. In a uniquely difficult period in life, a company that can sincerely and consistently speak with its audience is one that will be rewarded with loyalty and support just as it supports those it connects with.

It’s a worthy cause and one that should be celebrated when it is accomplished with the best intentions in mind. As we move into 2021 with hopes of a better year ahead, we wish the best for UK businesses and their customers both.

Brand stock photo by Alex_F/Shutterstock