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How brands are going to evolve with customers while adapting to the new normal?

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Sonia Notani, Chief Marketing Officer, IndiaFirst Life Insurance Company Ltd says that the pandemic provided companies an opportunity to ‘adapt to win’ so that the brand emerges to be more resilient, builds trust and forges ahead.

The new normal, is now a way of life. Six months into the full-scale pandemic and a completely new code of daily living, the brands that stand out are those who ‘adapted to win’. Adapting, therefore, does not mean making lasting changes, it just means making quick adjustments intelligently.

We see a distinct difference in Brands who are constantly evolving and adapting by keeping their CustomerFirst. They are ensuring proactive outreach, remote assistance, digital enablement and instant gratification to build confidence and certainty. In my mind, winning strategies for a brand include:

  1. The Enhanced ‘CustomerFirst’ Experience: ‘Need’ overpowers the ‘want’ in a challenging environment. During this time, consumers expect brands to show up with relevance especially when consumers are focused on the basic needs of health, safety, and family. Customer outreach, anticipating customer needs, simple communication and engagement, providing comfort are all critical and appreciated. At IndiaFirst Life, we have committed to claim pay-outs arising out of Covid-19 on priority, offered grace periods and deferment of payments, suggested staying invested in falling markets.


  1. Integrating Into A Customer’s Journey: A brand needs to be a part of the customer’s life to become and stay relevant. As part of the customer journey, marketers must address consumer touch points and then educate, make aware and simplify the process. At IndiaFirst Life, we have leveraged strategic partnerships with InsureTech & FinTech firms to provide life insurance cover at affordable rates to last mile customers in India. We have further enhanced our offerings to stay relevant with Covid-19 coverage on diagnosis and on hospitalization.


  1. Quick, Creative & Sensitive – A Brand’s New Normal: As marketers, it is instances like these that force us to re-think the conversations we have with our audiences, while keeping a delicate pulse on how society is reacting to this period of uncertainty. Brands that evolve to be agile while maintaining creative, yet relevant communication will build a far superior connect with their customers in the days to come.


  1. Selling Goes Digital: ‘Online’ and ‘Real time’ are key buzz words that take centre stage as digital channels have become our primary sources of connection during this time of isolation. As virtual becomes reality, brands must reinvent customer journeys to enable direct connect for purchase and service as well. We assisted connect through trusted partners. At IndiaFirst Life, we launched the innovative ‘Ghar Baithe Insurance’ initiative for our customers to secure the lives of their loved ones from the comfort of their home with no medicals bolstered end-to-end by digital processes.
  1. Instant Gratification: The pandemic has accelerated the digital adoption curve for customers across age groups. As customers now are more proactively seeking solutions online; brands need to stay one step ahead in providing for the same. At IndiaFirst Life, we moved our bot- IRIS to WhatsApp, got our multi-lingual website running in three regional languages & launched our self-service portal to enable instant gratification of queries and concerns that came in by our customers.

Customers are adjusting to tremendous changes and stress in their day-to-day life. The marketers of today and tomorrow will need to move in harmony to meet the needs of their audience in a proactive, thoughtful way that adds value. This in-turn will build trust through increased transparency and visibility.

The evolution should not be viewed as an insurmountable crisis but rather as the necessary catalyst to bring about change for the good. The pandemic has given brands an opportunity to get out of their comfort zones to ‘think new’ and ‘do more’. As Jeff Bezos of Amazon put it, “In today’s era of volatility, there is no other way but to re-invent.” Use this opportunity to ‘adapt to win’ as your brand emerges to be more resilient, builds trust and forges ahead.

About the author / 

Sonia Notani

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