Today’s Forecast: High Chance of Brand and Retailer Messaging

We cursed Punxsutawney Phil when he predicted six more weeks of winter earlier this month, but after an already harsh winter across most of the country, he was correct as headlines today are announcing record low temperatures and heavy snow to come as the ‘Siberian Express’ winter storm prepares to down cities and force people to cocoon in their homes this weekend.

Even though the news is bleak, a huge national news story that everyone is talking about offers an opportunity for brands and retailers to join in the conversation and demonstrate how they can help make the situation more bearable for shoppers and consumers. And those that get the most buzz and attention focus first on satisfying a consumer need and mindset and secondarily promoting the brand and product benefit.

See a strong example from Downy with the #ManSwaddle how-to that delivers warmth and comfort first, and an added bonus of softness when you use Downy. Or Chobani that has been posting yummy-looking comfort food recipes guaranteed to keep you warm and make cabin fever more tolerable, made of course with their yogurts.

As marketers, we are always planning ahead to be ready with programs that will leverage an event we know is happening: Super Bowl, March Madness, Back-to-School, etc. But so is everyone else and the noise in the stores and online is tough to break through. Being ready for opportunities to ‘speak out’ in a more spontaneous conversation could be the better chance to stand out and be heard.

How do you think brands and retailers can or should respond to spontaneous news events? And what are the biggest challenges you see?

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