The Five Marketing Strategies That Will Help You Mitigate The Impact Coronavirus Has On Your Beauty Business Without Sounding Tone-Deaf
If you’ve been out lately, you may have noticed that some businesses are still thriving while others aren’t faring as well.
The number of people infected with the coronavirus is still growing. But what’s greater than that is the fear that’s spreading with it. Businesses are suffering. Owners are anxious.
Fear of public spaces is keeping customers away from bricks and mortar retail stores, logistical issues are diminishing online sales, and manufacturing closures in China are leaving businesses running out of stock.
And while there’s plenty of news telling us what we should be doing to reduce the spread of the virus as a business—allowing employees to work from home, staggering hours to reduce the concentration of people in crowded spaces like subways and train stations, etc.—there’s a whole other side to this that’s not being addressed.
Small businesses rely on steady consumerism. An epidemic like this can reap major havoc on a small business’s cash flow.
So whether you’re worried about a decline in business (or already seeing one), or you’re not sure how or whether you should even address this epidemic with your audience, this post is for you.
Here’s my take: Don’t be ignorant, but don’t be tone deaf either.
What I mean by that is, as a business, you have an obligation to acknowledge what’s happening in the world. Your customer is thinking about this issue and how it affects their daily life every single day right now. There’s no way around that.
You can either pretend like it doesn’t exist and continue to post pretty pictures of your product, or you can address it head-on.
With that being said, any marketing or sales you do at this time needs to be done with sensitivity and compassion. Don’t be tone-deaf. Be aware and acknowledge that people are suffering around the world.
Here are 5 strategies you can apply right now to mitigate the impact coronavirus has on your beauty business without sounding tone-deaf:
1. Make your marketing efforts more relevant.
If you’re a wellness or beauty business focused on boosting health and immunity, share how your customers can use your products or services to boost their resilience against viruses. Sakara Life did this well in their recent IG post:
2. Create helpful content.
Piggy-banking on point #1, adjusting your content to stay relevant is essential. Write an article on immune-boosting travel tips or at-home self-care. People are canceling plans and staying home and they need things to do. If you sell beauty masks and treatments, talk about how showing yourself some self-love right now is a great way to bring joy and love during times of uncertainty or a great way to combat cabin fever. Or, if it’s relevant to your brand, share healthy, immune-boosting recipes like Sakara Life.
You may also be interested in reading: Why a Saturated Beauty Market Isn’t Necessarily a Bad Thing
3. Show your support.
Ask yourself how you can support your customers during this time. Focusing solely on sales right now will backfire. The gauging of prices on Amazon over the last couple of weeks is the worst way to take advantage of customers; fears during this time.
You’re so much better than that, so here are some ways you can show support to your customers and community:
If you sell antibacterial soap or any supplies currently in demand, provide a promotion like buy one, get one free, a discount, or for every purchase of a soap you’ll donate one to someone in need.
If you have a brick-and-mortar location and have taken a foot-traffic hit, why not hand out free soap products or samples, set up a delivery system, or announce a free product with purchase in-store? Lush did something like this recently, inviting customers into their stores to wash their hands with warm water.
The support from your brand doesn’t have to be extreme. Get creative and think about how your business can make a donation or offer your products or services to people in need at this time.
4. Keep your customers informed.
If you have a physical space, provide an update on any policy or cleanliness changes. MNDFL did this well. They sent out a coronavirus update on cleanliness practices and updated their cancellation policy temporarily to accommodate those who are ill and need to cancel last minute.
If your business is currently facing high demand for certain products or logistical delays, or if you’re struggling to restock due to manufacturing closures, make your customers aware of it.
Let your customers know if and why you’re experiencing delays in shipping and what they can expect. This will reduce frustration levels and prevent them from shopping elsewhere.
5. Use this time to really up the ante on your customer service.
What’s most important in all of this is to position your brand as a leader by being honest and aware of what’s happening in the world around you. So many brands are staying silent and pretending like nothing is happening out of fear of approaching a sensitive topic in the wrong way and being lambasted for it.
I don’t believe this is the best way to go about it. Be the kind of brand that speaks up. Be the kind of brand that is in tune with the real-life experiences of your customers and community. By doing so you will emerge as a leader and be able to mitigate the impact of a crisis on the health of your business.
I’d love to hear from you. Has the coronavirus outbreak had an impact on your beauty business? How are you handling it?