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Your Brand's Pandemic Kit: Covid-19 Marketing Trends

Updated: Jul 30, 2021

The Covid-19 pandemic has disrupted lives, businesses and resulted in an unprecedented economic downturn. Many businesses have been struggling due to the rapid shifts in consumer sentiment, consumer behavior and consumer demand. To stay afloat, it has become increasingly crucial for businesses to adapt their business model and marketing efforts. Understanding pandemic marketing trends is the key for businesses to effectively adapt their marketing strategy. We've came up with 3 important marketing trends you should look out for!

1. Consumers Value Empathy

In a challenging time like this, demonstrating empathy is crucial. Customers are not going to appreciate brands that focus more on profit making than the well-being of their customers and employees. A study by Marketingdive has found that 90% of surveyed consumers are more inclined to purchase from businesses that place more emphasis on customer and employee safety. Avoid being too pushy for sales. Instead, show customers that you care and provide them reassurance through these tough times.

Here is an example of a marketing campaign during the pandemic which tugged the heartstrings of many.

All over the world, social distancing regulations are prevalent. Meeting up with friends and loved ones is almost impossible. Hence, in Tesco's Food Love Stories campaign, people dedicated dishes to their loved ones. Although the pandemic has physically separated families, this campaign encouraged people to connect with one another through food. The heartening campaign video largely focused on people while subtly incorporating Tesco's products. Displaying empathy in your branding and marketing strategy would likely boost customer retention rates and reach out to potential customers as well.

2. Engage in CSR and You'll be Remembered

When your brand contributes to good causes, consumers perceive the brand to be compassionate and are likely to develop a good impression. Here are some ways you can give back.

During the shortage of Personal Protective Equipment in the US, H&M swiftly adapted its supply chain to PPE for healthcare workers in the US.

Source: John Lewis

John Lewis partnered with the British Medical Association and provided healthcare workers with a care package consisting of items such as snacks, lip balms, hand creams etc.

Source: Avon

Domestic abuse cases have been on a rise during the pandemic. To display its commitment against ending domestic violence, UK beauty brand AVON pledged to donate £150k to Refuge, a domestic abuse charity in the UK.

These brands are prominent examples of giving back. Your customers are going to remember you for your actions during this difficult time. Showing kindness during this period is definitely going to benefit your brand in the long run.

3. Consumers are Turning to Digital Channels

The COVID-19 lockdowns has made staying home and working from home the new normal for the vast majority. Consequently, as a way to meet their needs, consumers have turned to digital channels - a much more convenient and safer way. Consumer sentiment surveys have found that customers worldwide have increased their online consumption and purchases. Businesses w-ho have been adopting traditional marketing strategies need to undergo a digital transformation. Going digital is going to be an imperative way for businesses to establish positive relationships with customers during these unprecedented times. For example, during Singapore's circuit breaker* last year, Absolute Cycle Singapore quickly adapted and offered online rhythm cycling classes for its members. The online classes proved to be a hit!

Evidently, connecting with customers digitally is going to be beneficial. This means that businesses need to ramp up on their digital marketing strategy; engage your customers through various social media platforms and monitor their online behavior.

*Singapore implemented a in April 2020 as a preventive response to the Covid-19 Pandemic. Citizens were given stay-home orders and were only allowed to head out for essential activities.

4. Brands need to be tactful in their actions

Brands need to be cautious of their actions. One wrong move could spell disastrous consequences for your brand.

Gov.Sg's Covid-19 superheroes public campaign faced severe public criticism, with many expressing that the campaign seems to be make a joke about Singapore's efforts to combat the coronavirus.

One important lesson we can derive from the feedback to's campaign is the need for brands to be sensitive and careful during times of crisis.

5. EDMS have to be adapted

No more sending out EDMS with your regular content. Get creative with your EDMS! Provide relevant and fun content that would allow your customers an avenue to kill their boredom while they're stuck at home.

Your customers' are going to be flooded with EDMS from different brands. To stand out, your EDMS need to add value.

For example, Paper Source, a stationary and gift retailer suggested activities that its costumers could partake in while they are safe distancing at home.

National Sports's EDMs are aptly adapted to the Covid-19 crisis The sporting goods retailer demonstrated to consumers how its products could fill in their current needs.

Appropriately adapting your EDMS during this time is definitely going to help enhance your open rates and brand awareness.

5. Novelty sells

Consumers are tired of the same old marketing campaigns. With brand loyalty shifting due to the pandemic, brands need to provide consumers with novelty.

Source: Dior

Dior launched its virtual store last year which allowed consumers to continue purchasing the brand's products despite the city being on lockdown. To provide consumers with the experience of actually visiting the store, Dior regularly changed the virtual shop's decor according to the different seasons.

Next, tapping on augmented reality, furniture store Castlery came up with a shopping app that allowed consumers to visualise how the brand's furniture would look like in their own homes. This way, consumers no longer need to worry about whether or not the furniture would be visually appealing in their home spaces.

Source: Castlery

Both Dior and Castlery are notable examples of brands that have reinvented consumers' experience.

Incorporating new ideas into your brand's marketing campaigns or content is going to provide your consumers with a breath of fresh air - which is very much needed to differentiate your brand and capture your target audience's attention


Fashion retailer YISHION interacts with their customers through Telegram polls, enabling the brand to gain a sense of what type of content their target audience enjoyed.

With social listening, this would significantly reduce your brand's risk of launching a campaign that is ill-received.

7. Consumers desire localised experiences

With the various travel restrictions, most consumers are bound to their home countries. To effectively engage your consumers, consider localising your marketing strategies; this can include adjusting your marketing messages to the situation in different countries/neighbourhoods, demonstrate support for local businesses or host events which can help to bring the local communities together.

Prudential's marketing campaign last year was heavily localised to the situation in Singapore; raising awareness about falsehoods that was growing in prevalence in the country and encouraging the local community to work together to combat falsehoods and #DOGOOD during these difficult times.

Local small businesses were disrupted due to the Covid-19 crisis as well. VISA launched a

#WhereYouShopMatters campaign, encouraging Singaporeans to support their local small businesses. In a time like this, customers yearn for more localised experiences - satisfying this demand through your marketing campaigns or content would significantly help to boost brand awareness and sales. Differentiate your brand by reinventing and localising customer experience.

9. SEO Marketing Strategies need To Be Tweaked

Ensure that your website is highly ranked on search engines by tweaking your SEO marketing strategies. For instance, ensure that your site's content contains keywords which are relevant to the global pandemic.

10. Community marketing works

Humans are social creatures. An extended period of being away from friends and families have forced many to turn to the internet to satisfy their cravings for social connection.

Brands can fill this gap by establishing a virtual brand community.

Source: Lovet

Lovetfam is a brand community established by local blogshop brand Lovet. A telegram group was created for members of the community to discuss about anything related to the brand. Some members would even share their try-ons after receiving their clothes.

Brand communities help to foster a sense of belonging among consumers as it becomes a space where they get to interact with like-minded individuals. Any remote form of social interaction in this time would be greatly appreciated by consumers.

We understand the difficulty in adopting an effective marketing strategy now. We are here to help you. Contact us here.

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