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What should brands do to better leverage their post-lockdown strategy?

The recent lockdowns in Shanghai have been a setback for China. But despite the uncertainty, there are always opportunities.

Shanghai being under lockdown doesn’t mean the whole country is slowing down. A study conducted by a research institute based out of the People’s University of China shows that the Chinese economy is doing better than expected. China's gross domestic product grew by 4.8% year-on-year in the first quarter of 2022, accelerating from the 4.0% expansion registered in Q4 2021 and beating economists' expectations. Despite the pandemic and lockdowns, China continues to grow.

In this series of articles, we will explain to you why, despite the pandemic and the lockdowns, you should still invest in China.

The new COVID wave since March has shifted consumers' focus. Trust and reliability are becoming top priorities when customers choose a brand or product. Community and customer-brand relationships are becoming more important than ever. This article will discuss how brands should now adapt to secure their branding and marketing for a post-lockdown world.


#1 Communicate the right message.

When the greater emphasis is placed on trust and reliability, connecting with people and strengthening bonds with customers should be any brand's top to-do list. Knowing your audience's feelings and what to say are critical for a post-lockdown strategy but is not an easy job. Here is what you can get begin with:

  1. Be empathetic.

The lockdown has put an emotional toll on customers. People are feeling vulnerable. Your message now shouldn't be too commercial or sales-oriented but somewhat empathetic. If you plan to run a campaign, bring the human emotion to the forefront of your campaigns. Now is the time to show you genuinely care for your customers, not only through the messages you send out but also backed with action.

  1. Communicate your brand value.

Consumers today are more attuned to brands’ values and willing to pay a premium to support companies that align with their personal beliefs and values. Now is when your brand value comes into the spotlight. Curate your message that not only communicates your brand value but also resonates with your audience.

  1. Be mindful.

People will continue to feel the impact of lockdowns. Brands should be mindful of that. Don’t just pretend the lockdown didn’t happen but also don’t try to be ‘smart’ and take advantage of it in your messages or campaign.



#2 Do the right thing.

We all remember when alcohol companies repurposed their alcohol-manufacturing capabilities to make hand sanitizer during the first hit of the pandemic and how uplifting that was. For this time, people in China will also likely remember how e-commerce marketplace JD sent fleets of delivery drivers to Shanghai to help provide the much-needed supplies to the people under lockdown.

In times of crisis, customers want to see brands' actions and efforts in taking care of their people. Brands need to take actual action and do good deeds.

Boba tea chain HeyTea and the Shenzhen government teamed up to increase the uptake in COVID-19 testing. Together they launched a co-operative testing point under the theme “Safe and Happy”, which has received positive reactions.

Doing the good thing can also be donating products or services to people in need. The Chaoyun Group’s pet food brand, Stubborn Mouth, donated pet food and supplies to stray animals in Shanghai — a recent pain point for residents. 


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#3 Build your community.

We believe your brand is as strong as your community. Really focus on relationships and communities as they are everything now!

The lockdown in Shanghai has reminded us of the power of community and sticking together. People learned to bond and helped one another during the crisis.

For brands, community matters more today than ever. It’s vital to include community efforts in your branding and marketing plan.

Building community is about listening to your customers, understanding their needs and adapting. This could be your message/approach to your customers.

  • We experience the same struggles; we hear your needs, and we see your ambitions.
  • We aspire to address all the problems and become part of the solutions with our products.
  • And we invite YOU to be on our mission, and together we make the difference!

In a world filled with so much uncertainty, things are constantly changing and evolving. There isn't a one-size-fit-for strategy. Brands need to be vigilant and adapt quickly. But we believe in the post-lockdown (or post-pandemic) era, brands should focus on building personal and meaningful connections through engaging and inspiring content and doing the right things. Building a strong community is also crucial, as your brand is only as strong as your community.



At Duhno, we can help evaluate your overall marketing strategy and see how your brand can navigate the post-lockdown world. We help identify your customer segmentation, develop your brand value that speaks to different types of customers and create a strong and meaningful community.