The travel industry has taken one of the biggest hits since the pandemic struck, leaving many to wonder if and when it will get back to what we once knew. And while this may be the case, winning brands aren’t waiting around to find out. They’re accommodating the changing environment and charging forward!
Brands like Edgewell Personal Care, for example aren’t wasting any time in their marketing efforts to pivot with new messaging. They are preparing for sunny days without the beach, and bringing its subsidiaries along with it: Hawaiian Tropic is working on bringing the beach to cautious consumers with scented candles, and Banana Boat is refocusing its summer messaging to be more appropriate for the times, among other measures.
Let’s see how exactly, this looks – and how consumers are reacting.
Different Sort of Summer Projections
Cities and towns across the nation are preparing for summer and what that will look like. There have been countless cancellations of parades, fireworks and celebrations. No street parties, festivals or bus tours.
Restaurants on Cape Cod, Massachusetts (and beyond) are preparing to adjust to 50% reduced capacity. Parties over five need to be seated at separate tables and shared breadbaskets and buffets are a thing of the past.
While many people may not be planning to travel in the near future (at least not by air), approximately 87% of American travelers are planning (and hoping) to be able to take a trip by the end of 2021. But with this travel pause comes trouble for the travel industry. So much so, the industry as a whole could see a crippling loss of $24 billion dollars because of COVID-19.
Now, what does this look like from a social media monitoring perspective? And how can brands take this information to adjust and redirect their marketing strategies? Well, to start, the sentiment surrounding all of this appears to be mixed.
Optimism & Apprehension
While brands and the travel agencies are trying to be optimistic, consumers seem to be more reserved and apprehensive about booking any summer travel this year. But regardless of which way you see it, the general conversation around summer plans looks a whole lot different this year than it did last year.
Last year the news was filled with articles encouraging getting out and exploring. This year, the media is filled with stories about people cancelling or delaying their summer plans.
The conversation around this topic on Twitter is generally about cancelled plans and vacations being a thing of the past, too.
Taking this all into consideration, brands are adjusting their marketing to create and encourage positive consumer experiences. As good sentiment is contagious. But you need to know how to find it – and which segments are ready to hear it!
Brands Adjust Marketing to Create Positive Consumer Experiences
When you think of Hawaiian Tropic, do you think of getting bronzed on the beach? Probably! But now you’ll have to ditch the oil and soak in the scents through their new Beachside (inside) candle. Be sure to pack some when attending your next digital conference . . .
Organizations like HubSpot that host large digital conferences each year and attract visitors from all over the globe, have made the decision to host virtual conferences instead. Most venues are planning similarly.
And with summer festivals and concerts being cancelled, brands like Bud Light jumped in to do their part. They’re engaging and bring a consumer experience to their audience through a virtual musical performance.
The Frito-Lay Snack Index revealed that 85% of study participants shared that eating their favorite snack makes them feel normal, while 83% said their favorite summer snack reminded them of good times. And with this information, Frito-Lay put out feel good content to let their customers know they hear them, they see them and they are here for them. Even if it’s stuck inside:
But as time goes on, and things calm down, we can only hope that things will go back to the normal that we once knew.
But how will you know what recovery indicators to watch for?
Recovery Indicators to Watch For
Pairing powerful next generation artificial intelligence tools like Quid and NetBase can help you connect conversations to content. It’s important to know what is being talked about and how people are reacting to those topics.
With Quid, you can spot emerging trends and understand what is resonating – and with whom. This will help you stay ahead of the conversation – and ahead of the competition.
And you can use social listening within NetBase to monitor conversations to understand your audience’s needs and motivations. You will want to set up searches with keywords related to summer travel, summer plans, rebooking vacations, etc. to see if sentiment shifts, and where your brand is positioned within that conversation. And if it isn’t there – get there!
This can be easily done with consistent monitoring of what sentiment and trends look like day-to-day. Benchmarking relevant data – all consumer and market data, actually – is key.
Feel free to reach out for a demo to see how this makes such a startling difference in your day-to-day marketing, and why brands pivoting so effortlessly are able to do so. You can do that as well with a little next generation AI-powered consumer and market intelligence powering your efforts!