Picture: 123RF/viteethumb
Picture: 123RF/viteethumb

Businesses have responded to the Covid-19 crisis in different ways. Telecommunications company Vodacom has been under pressure to live up to being an essential service, reported managing executive of brand, communication & sponsorship Abey Mokgwatsane at a recent Financial Mail Redzone “in conversation with” digitised event, held in partnership with Kantar.

Vodacom, Mokgwatsane said, has had to step up in terms of its investment in its network and the value and service it offers customers, given the escalation in the volume of users engaging with the company on social media channels.

A long-standing advocate of purpose-led organisations, Vodacom has partnered with Discovery to provide free medical assessments and has made the entire public school library available online.

Mokgwatsane said Vodacom was moving from being a telecommunications company to a digital business with the ability to connect customers as they work and study.

Reckitt Benckiser Health Africa marketing director Kunal Singh said he believes a strong purpose is what sets brands apart from each other. Reckitt Benckiser showed exponential growth during the pandemic as consumer demand for brands such as Dettol and Harpic grew at an unprecedented rate.

The company has focused on collaborations in the past year. These have included donations of Dettol products to HIV patients across Africa and of hand-washing stations to the department of health.

“In a tough economy brands need to pick their top priorities and be very clear about what [consumers] are looking for,” said Singh. “It’s about offering value – and not necessarily via discounts.”

He urged brands to experiment and try different things. “You will lose on some things and win on others,” he concluded.

To watch the recorded event click here.

The big take-out:

In a tough economy brands should experiment.


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