Who will come out on top on this edition of Pandemic Marketing Warrior?
Watching businesses respond to COVID-19 has been like watching the American Ninja Warrior of marketing and customer relations. Some competitors, with the best backstories, fall flat on the first obstacle and others have our jaws on the floor as they deftly maneuver social-distancing-based obstacles.
For the next couple of years, if you want to succinctly get a sense of a business, it will be enough to ask them how they handled this pandemic.
Welcome to the marketing highlight reel. Here are some of our favorite local pandemic marketing trends we’re seeing at Avant8:
Category: COVID Copy
Winner: Trailside Dry Cleaning
It seems too easy to be true. Having clever or quirky signs doesn’t really seem like it would make a difference right now. But people are perhaps more geographically restricted than they have been since we were using horses and buggies, so signage still plays. The fact remains that positive impressions eventually trickle down to increased leads.
We’re especially digging this example from Trailside Dry Cleaning. Well done. Their turnaround time for hilarious banners is majorly impressive.
Category: Way to Support Essential Workers
Winner: Brownies, Brownies, Brownies!
It’s so great to see small businesses and the communities they serve supporting each other. We’ve been astounded by those businesses donating products or services to our champions in the healthcare industry. There’s never been a better time to donate or ask your customers to donate. We loved watching Brownies, Brownies, Brownies include an option to not only order curbside but to order goodies for healthcare workers! What a clever way to make a goods-based business.
If you’d like to help our healthcare workers, Project Protect is a local initiative to provide patterns and supplies for sewing savvy citizens to make disposable masks to use in hospitals. You can learn more about how to volunteer for that effort at the link.
Category: Best Use of Employee Downtime
Winner: Fear Factory
If business is slow and employees can’t be in the office (or haunted factory) right now, this is a perfect time to have them sharpen their personal skills. Have them do training or take on a new certification. We loved the Fear Factory’s pandemic monsters. With our usual rhythms disturbed, now is a perfect time to invest in a creative endeavor that requires some out of the box thinking. Fear Factory did a great job keeping their employees creepy while safely at home.
Honorable mention because they’re not local, but #mettwinning challenges have been truly inspired.
Category: Killer Social Media Content
Hands Down Winner: The King’s English
We have vastly been enjoying afternoon storytime on the store’s Instagram page. In the time of a pandemic, being read to is the #selfcare we’ve needed. The store has used online ordering and a curbside pick-up system to keep serving customers their regular dose of at-home reading…well a bigger dose of it than usual.
Now, seriously folks, we’ve had fun here tonight, but small businesses like these need our support now more than ever. (Yup, we went from American Ninja Warrior to local broadcasting charity drive. Keep up.) Now that time is abundant for many of us, it is more incumbent upon us than ever to shop small and local.
From our point of view, those are the businesses that have been truly providing for their customers through all the COVID madness. They have been able to provide the customer service, man-hours, and ingenuity/flexibility to create new systems that meet the social distancing needs of their customers. To Mom & Pop shops everywhere wiping down credit card machines and creating pickup schedules, we salute you.