Kumar Udaar, Co-Founder & COO, ODN Digital

Kumar Udaar is a young maverick who had an early start towards his career by carving out a niche for himself in the retail industry. Known for his expertise in the E-commerce sales and Operations sectors, Udaar is currently heading the operations at ODN Digital, one of the leading innovative content solutions providers to a spectrum of brands.

Demonstrating impressive dedication, Udaar was hands-on in his career, even when most of his peers were busy figuring out what to do next. With about 5+ years of experience today as the COO of ODN Digital, Udaar has been instrumental in building brand stability and brand recognition for the firm in the best way possible. Throughout his tenure, he has played a pivotal role at ODN and his foresight, planning, and leadership skills have helped usher success into the company’s canopy.

 

The pandemic’s outburst last year disrupted our lives and businesses. However, it also brought to light the fact that indeed content is a powerful and essential element for brands so as to interact effectively with their target audience. Due to the pandemic-induced lockdown and practicing of social distancing norms, businesses had to adopt the online medium to communicate with their target audiences and sell their offerings. This increased online presence further paved the way for global quality and creative digital content that could instantly click with the consumers and connect them with the brands. 

The effect of the pandemic on the brands 

With we have been still struggling to adapt to the new normal; with the second wave of the virus, the situation seems to have taken a catastrophic turn for industries.

It has also pushed brands to step out of their comfort zone and bring about innovations in their operational strategies, offerings, and also in their content creation and marketing activities. They are also redefining their communication strategies and are bringing about modifications in their content so as to connect effectively with the consumers. 

They have now understood that adding value in brand messaging is equivalent to communicating the brand purpose and helps in establishing a positive image of the organization amongst the consumers. In such a scenario, they will trust the brand and will believe that the firm stands for a social cause and makes efforts to bring about a change in the society. 

The effect of the coronavirus on the consumer psyche

With the changing situations, the consumers’ preferences and requirements are also evolving. Since the customer is the king, brands will have to bring about innovations in their content from the business and marketing perspective so as to cater to their needs and foster a connection with them. Organizations are now well aware that the consumers no longer engage with brands that focus only on upselling and rather prefer interacting with brands that radiate humanity. 

EY’s Future Consumer Index report points out a similar trend and states that even though consumers consider quality, pricing, and durability before making their purchasing decision, factors like sustainability and social responsibility also top the list and play a major role in influencing their purchasing decision. 

Content curation for Generation COVID 

It is indeed an undeniable fact that engaging, innovative, creative, and global content possesses the power to attract customers, persuades them to interact and connect with the brand, and convinces them to eventually become loyal customers. Hence, the focus for content curation will be on incorporating empathy and compassion in the brand storytelling.  

The sales of your offerings now depend on the relationship you have with your consumers and hence brands will focus on strengthening the same. They have realized that stressing upon the product USP’s won’t help them achieve their targets. Hence, now it’s time to stop sharing misleading information and claims with the consumers and to support great values and causes. 

Authenticity and credibility in brand communication

Generation COVID would prefer authenticity in brand communication and hence businesses will focus on sharing reliable and authentic information that would increase their credibility amongst the target audience. They will also stress upon showcasing that they care about their consumers and that they have their customer’s back. 

Incorporating the factor of support in their messaging: Activating CSR activities for real  

Brands have realized that they are no longer in a fight with other players in the market. In fact, the competition is now between our brand and the last best experience the consumer had. Hence, the era of false promises is indeed fading away, and now is the time for organizations to step up their game and show to their consumers that they are present to genuinely help and support them even in such distressing times. 

This is the time for brands to initiate their CSR activities not just for the accounting books to be clean but in the truest sense so as to genuinely and honestly connect and build engagement with their consumers. Since this is what their target audience is looking for, brands that support their consumers and stand by them will eventually gain their trust and will soon be rewarded with a loyal customer base. 

Connecting and engaging with consumers: Tapping human emotions 

Passé are the days when customers could be easily fooled with fake claims. The modern consumers are well aware and educated and do not prefer immersing themselves in mindless interactions. They now focus on engaging with brands that genuinely make an effort to connect with them and share their story via storytelling techniques. 

The policy of ‘I care’ needs to be adopted so that the consumers are aware about the causes the brand supports and can trust them for their support and assistance. Human emotions need to be tapped and should be kept into consideration while curating content for Generation COVID. Hence, there is a dire need to bring sentiments and emotional connect in our brand messaging so that we can effectively engage with the consumers. Care, empathy, positivity, and support are what the customers are looking for and brands should focus on delivering just the same!

Summing Up!

Generation COVID is looking for transparent communication and collaborative efforts from the brand’s end to support them during such turbulent times of the pandemic global crisis. While the brands have been trying their best, but the need of the hour is to show via actions and efforts that they support what they say since consumers are now result-oriented and do not fall easily into the trap of fake claims and false promises.  

 The inculcation of elements like honesty, empathy, social consciousness and I care in the brand’s messaging via the route of global quality, innovative and creative content will definitely witness a surge in the coming times as they will be extra sensitive towards the consumer’s (Generation COVID’s) emotional needs as well and would want to tap on the same so as to foster strong interactions and good relationships with their target consumers.  

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