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‘Difficult times have given an opportunity to evolve, upgrade & be resilient to change’

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Tribhuwan Joshi, Brand Communication, Public Relations & CSR, Fujifilm, talks on new business strategies, altered communications and marketing interventions, festive season offerings, and more

Shift in business strategy with an amplified focus on empathy based communication has been the comeback mantra for organisations across industries during the past few months. A better care of employees, satisfying customer needs and enhancing company’s financial health have been the top priorities. Falling under non-essential category, Fujifilm too faced challenging times in the business but with its recent launches during the festive season and altered communications strategies has helped the brand sail through these uncertain times.

To understand more on new business strategies, altered communications and marketing interventions, festive season offering and more, exchange4media had a conversation with Tribhuwan Joshi, Brand Communication, Public Relations & CSR, Fujifilm.

Edited Excerpts:-

For us, effective communications with employees have been particularly important in the past few months as normal routines have been disrupted. From adapting to the new work from the home norm, maintaining social distancing, restriction/limitations on travel, complete sanitization of our offices, and hygiene protocols across our offices in India have been key things to function in the new normal.

At times like these, communications plans by the leadership team of an organization play an important role in ensuring that all organizational practices safeguard the physical, emotional as well as adaptive wellbeing of their employees are undertaken. Following our motto of Value from Innovation, we initiated a series on ‘Value from Home’ where we offered our employees a platform to engage and share their lockdown stories digitally with each other. This has helped keep our people safe, healthy, well-informed, motivated, and productive.

During this time, as a communication specialist, I have learned and realized that each crisis serves as a bridge between the responses on how we deal with the current crisis and what the future will look like – the new normal. While, this shall too pass soon, until then; we should all remain positive, strong for each other, and ‘Never Stop’ hoping for a better tomorrow.

With the increase in online traffic and digital getting a major push, how did the brand leverage digital?

COVID-19 has emphasized the importance of digital readiness, which has allowed business and life of people to continue as usual during pandemics. The application of digital technology has not only been confined to working, but virtual meetings, cloud technology, and work collaboration tools have gained tremendous ground during the pandemic. Staying digitally connected is the new normal and we have been quick to adapt to this change. To stay connected, we have been conducting various online workshops and webinars for camera enthusiasts with International and renowned  Zack Arias, Daboo Ratnani and Valentina Vee through Fujifilm’s social media channels. In addition to this, we were the first ever brand to digitally unveil our latest camera i.e. X-T4, showcasing our commitment to stay aggressive in the Indian market. Further, with health becoming a priority in the current time, we even strengthened our responsibilities and focus in our healthcare business by conducting educational workshops around topics like Breast Cancer, Tuberculosis, etc. for doctors and users of our medical solutions.

Additionally, we have been increasing our digital amplification with various new-age techniques such as contests, DIY workshops, giveaways, etc. to best leverage our presence across the various mediums.

What has been the shift in brand communication around these Covid-infected months? What are the new trends that have stepped in the communications industry?

The Covid-19 pandemic has changed the way we work, shop, and communicate with individuals more than any other disruption. With a further push towards a digital world during the pandemic, it has resulted in making the human connection even stronger. Understanding this important aspect of building human connection, empathy is the new aspect which every brand is working on these days. The brands are listening to their communities, customers, partners, and employees. Additionally, spending time with them and understanding them better to serve in these unprecedented times.

We as communicators are focusing on managing stress organizational flexibility and being mindful that employees may be dealing with personal issues at home (childcare, elder care, etc.). We understand that it is essential to offer empathy, care and approach them with a thoughtful attitude to avoid hurting their prevailing sentiments. In line with the same thought, we also launched a ‘Connecting Hearts’ campaign which focused on spreading positivity and joy between patients and doctors. We provided them Instax cameras and films at the hospitals to spread smiles across doctors and nurses working on the frontline during these times. We are also providing PPE kits at various hospitals across India. In all, we are taking various initiatives to offer aid to the people of the society towards the unprecedented crisis.

How has the consumer behaviour changed? How did your brand manage to stay relevant in its communication?

The Covid-19 has left an enormous impact on brands across all industries and brought upon a paradigm shift in consumer behavior. It can be rightly said that the on-going public health crisis and the isolation from the world has given rise to a new sort of consumer, the more engaged and creative one. Hence, the quarantine has given us a good opportunity to tap the new-age vloggers with our wide range of cameras.

Now, more than ever, the need for creating virtual photography webinars while working remotely has increased significantly, not just for professionals but camera enthusiasts as well. In order to stay connected to our customers and partners, we have been conducting online workshops through Fujifilm’s social media channels.

In the social media propelled world, it has become imperative for brands to stay connected with their audience digitally. For our Instax range of cameras we leveraged an influencer led campaign to reach our target audience that consumes social media platforms on a daily basis. In line with our tagline, “Don’t just take, give”, the campaign was a direct nod to the thoughtfulness and generosity around sharing INSTAX prints as demonstrations of joy, posterity and shared experiences.

Another consumer trend that we can notice more evidently is the positive by-product that the pandemic has created which is greater awareness of healthcare and the steps we can all take to safeguard ourselves and our families. We have seen an upward trend in self-diagnosis measures, where consumers want to be more aware of the health issues they’re tackling. This being said, we altered our communications approach to provide more self-help guidelines that consumers can adapt to healthy lifestyle practices. We have taken the initiative to spread awareness on early detection of breast cancer, DIY breast checkups, and prevention of TB, etc.

We believe that these difficult times have given us an opportunity to evolve, upgrade, and be resilient to change. The key aspect to remember is that we are not the only ones fronting the problem and thereby we should “Never Stop” hoping for a better tomorrow.

What are the areas the brand invested in during the festive chatter?

At Fujifilm India, we took complete advantage of the festive season and took it as the perfect opportunity to re-evaluate our marketing strategies. We have been agile in responding to the pandemic, and have taken to detailed research on markets and planning our mode of communication accordingly. For the festive season, we adopted a 360-degree marketing approach and our outlook has been as aggressive as it would have been under normal conditions with focus more on digital presence.

To add fervor to the festive spirits of our customers and fulfill our motto of ‘Value from Innovation’, this festive season, we announced attractive consumer offers, easy financing schemes, introduced a variety of combo packs, on our wide range of imaging solutions to help consumers capture the perfect moment of the new normal celebrations.

With more and more consumers adopting the digital brandwagon and continuing to shop online, we significantly increased our ecommerce engagement. We introduced a variety of lucrative offers especially during Flipkart’s Big Savings Day and Amazon Freedom Sale to best leverage the festive carnivals.

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Nafisa Shaheen

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