Not rendering correctly? View this email as a web page here.

Economic downturns in the past have taught brands to focus on high-value customers and communication strategies – some setting the tone for digital transformation. As brands continue to pivot, marketers around the globe are now facing the pressure to react and appropriately respond as the world adjusts to social media for communication. 

Constraints unleash creativity

Sometimes, wildly creative thinking can occur when you are forced to think inside the box. As brands face the constraints of social distancing and tighter budgets, limitations are an opportunity to push creativity and drive more genuine conversations. 

User-generated content – which over 70% of marketers agree makes marketing more human – highlights its potential as brands adjust to a new production reality from home. “Instead of location shoots, most [teams are relying] on stock footage or user-generated content,” reports Adweek.


Many brands are already embracing creative constraints. Jack Daniel’s successfully captured emotions through a collection of real-life interactions people shared from a distance; the NFL league released a PSA featuring 50 star-athletes urging people to #stayhomestaystrong; Buffalo Wild Wings scoured the internet for footage of people playing sports – leveraging user-generated content to fill the void of live sports.

Strategic shifts for relevance

While some transform their supply chains to help bolster the crushing demand of medical masks, others are slashing prices and using social media to become more impactful and remain top of mind. “Changing the conversation and remaining relevant is a challenge,” states Mary Stanhope, “As a CMO, I think about offering insights into the bigger picture of the impact and what this means for each client’s economic future.”

Social media is the main channel brands and people are using to communicate – welcoming transparency, community-building, and more authentic content. Now is the time for marketers to listen to the global sentiment, identify gaps in brand purpose and positioning, and improve communication. 

The world will be much different than before. Those who understand this – and adapt accordingly – will come out stronger in the long-run.

Digital binging impacts brand messaging

As people search for distractions online, digital platforms are demonstrating their power to reach a massive audience – forcing marketers to rethink their messaging tactics and publications to validate their worth.

Bustle refreshed its traditional content – driving a significant surge in unique visitors through updated how-to’s and personal essays from wedding parties and healthcare professionals impacted by the outbreak. Since February 2020, video streaming has also increased by 25% across all channels including Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Youtube. 


To promote delivery orders on Netflix, Popeye’s turned to its brand positioning, “treat everyone like family,” by inviting Twitter users to participate in #thatpasswordfrompopeyes for a chance to join their video streaming account. Hulu and Disney+ are also releasing movies earlier than expected – while various brands, including Verizon and Comcast, are ramping up free trials and giveaways. 

Marketers must pay careful attention to the tone and message they strive to deliver. How and what you communicate now can impact your brand reputation for years to come.

Virtual Philanthropy

Be My Eyes, a platform that gives brands and people a chance to do good socially – connecting over 850+ volunteers to help the largest community of blind and impaired users in the world navigate life via video chat. Their Twitter feed hosts a collection of moving user-generated content and testimonials, using word-of-mouth and relationship-building to demonstrate “the power of [their] message… is what propels [Be My Eyes] forward as a community.”


To adjust for social distancing, mental health professionals and volunteers have flocked to online platforms, including Talkspace and Crisis Text Line, to contribute to some of the world’s most vulnerable communities. Talkspace, an online therapy company, noticed a 25% surge in usage since February 2020 – while Crisis Text Line, an SMS crisis intervention platform, spiked 116% in under a week.

As people cope with the realities of isolation, marketers can view this as an opportunity to become a resource and contribute to society in more impactful ways.




Each week in #brandcrush we highlight exceptional brands
that are channeling their customers' voice to connect more
authentically with their audience.

It's inspiring to see purpose-driven organizations like Make-A-Wish double-down on spreading positivity. Make-A-Wish – the nonprofit infamous for granting life-changing wishes for children with critical illnesses – has pushed forward despite current limitations.


Make-A-Wish officials reported 77% of wishes involve travel, postponing over 970 wishes across the United States due to the outbreak. To liven the spirits of kids waiting for their wish, Make-A-Wish partnered with various celebrities, including Ryan Reynolds, Nigel Barker, and Gordon Ramsay, to promote a campaign that encourages user-generated messages of hope and inspiration.

Make-A-Wish invites users to speak from the heart, tag @MakeAWish and #WishesAreWaiting, and ask 2 friends to join in. This initiative reinforces their message that “together we can shine a light of hope and joy for children in their darkest days, bringing them strength for tomorrow.”

As the world faces uncertainty for the near future, Make-A-Wish promotes the opportunity for all of us to unite and support our communities with positivity.



If you enjoyed this email, subscribe to Future of Marketing here