Where Is The Fine Line Amid Pandemic Communication

While the influence of coronavirus pandemic is still pending in some sectors, many brands found themselves coming to a grinding halt with marketing and advertising. During this challenging period, the outbreak present brands and marketers with tough decisions about whether it is a better idea to shout from the rooftop or just keep silent.

Walking a fine line is the hardest to measure, but here is the common thread to minimize this pressure: infusing some humanity and authenticity into the communication, taking actions that could leverage the power of the company’s products so that people are comforted with useful messages.

Check out what Urban Remedy is doing in response to the outbreak of the global pandemic.

Urban Remedy is an organic, plant-based and non-GMO food and beverage brand that is based in San Francisco and just launches in NYC. The mantra of the company is “food is healing,” and they are also on a mission to reimagine the food system as well as to teach the world that food is healing.

The brand posted a short video from the founder Neka Pasquale, updating Urban Remedy’s plans in providing customers ready-to-eat meals and fresh juices, supporting customers’ wellbeing in such critical time. In the video, the founder announced that all of the store locations would remain open, and the brand would provide same-day delivery. The founder also gives out the delivery sites and grocery stores where people could get access to their food and juices, which is pretty helpful and informational. Another reason I think it is smart to be informational is that because of the stress, and anxiety people are dealing with every day, there is a surging need from customers to improve their immune health by eating and drinking more healthily. Under their Instagram post, people are recommending the booster shots and asking questions about worldwide shipping.

The brand supports employees who choose to stay at home and explains the reason for limited options for customers due to less working staffers. The out-of-stock and limited choice is not something counterintuitive at the point of time, but I really appreciate the brand highlighting this in the message because it reminds me to be more understanding for people who are still working overtime to keep the society functioning and satisfy our individual needs.

In the video, the founder also announced that the brand is packing hundreds of juices and delivering to doctors and nurses who are on the front line dealing with the stress for people. I think this is a truly down-to-earth move showing responsibility, accountability, and support to the community, and is also very consistent with their mantra of healing the earth.

Except for supporting the community, the founder also introduced a meditation platform for people to attend. Because of the anxiety and stress that have been going around, Urban Remedy wants to harness the positive energy and bring it to people from all over the world. Calling people to join a meditation together in this self-isolation time really shows that we are all in this together. Beyond comforting and easing customers with their anxiety, the brand is also embracing the idea of making social distancing social.

Although walking a fine line is hard, we can tell from the message by Urban Remedy that bringing humanity and authenticity is not. The most important thing amid the communication disruption is to simply take into account people’s state of mind and emotions. And it is definitely not wise to market with your heads in the sand and pretends that we are still living in a pre-virus environment. So, long term speaking, I think brands will start to learn how to communicate with customers’ emotions, after all, not many of us have experienced such global pandemic personally and have the experience of dealing with overwhelming emotions for such a long period of time.

Life starts at the end of your comfort zone. Graduate @ NYU