Your Brand’s Health in the Pandemic
The Worst Brings Out The Best: Brand Health in the Pandemic
In the midst of this crisis, the worst that I remember in my lifetime, it’s rewarding and inspiring to see brands stepping up and responding to the Covid-19 crisis with purpose and humanity. While brands and “creative” have always had the power to make a difference and be a force for good, this opportunity (responsibility) takes on unprecedented importance today.
There are tremendous examples across diverse categories of brands delivering marketing with empathy, balancing the need to boost consideration, engagement, sales (and brand health) with responding to opportunity – because business must go on. So doors remain open, employees keep their jobs, and families can see a positive future in front of them.
Two Questions Brands Need To Be Asking
Brand health and consumer health travel together. So when consumer health nosedives, thoughtful brands come to the rescue. They know that when consumers regain their strength, they’ll return to the ones who helped them weather the storm. Actions taken by these brands during difficult times will be remembered for years to come.
How can brands do their part to help restore consumer health? There are two questions they should be asking.
1. What can we do to help right now?
I’ve been a fan of BrewDog for some time. In fact, I’ve referred to them in presentations when we talk about disruptive brands. Since brewing their first craft beers in 2007, they’ve introduced a distinctive variety and personality into the beer marketplace. It’s a company that’s always gone against the grain (pardon the pun), not because its product was entirely new, but the strategy it uses to market that product is something else entirely.
BrewDog’s actions have also always seemed to be true to their beliefs, which can be seen below. Look at the third row and you’ll see WE BELIEVE THAT BUSINESS CAN BE A FORCE FOR GOOD.
If there was ever a time to be a force for good, it’s now. And lo and behold, but not that this should come as any surprise, they’re BEING A FORCE FOR GOOD. Immediately, turning their ability to make alcohol into making hand sanitizer. But not just any sanitizer – Brewgel Punk Sanitiser. From all of us, thanks BrewDog!
How can your brand pivot like BrewDog – to help right now? Are there capabilities, assets, or skills that can be repurposed? At a minimum, brand communications strategies that recognize the emotional experience we’re going through together and that recognize the new normal are in a position to win hearts and minds, though winning a share of wallet might need to follow.
2. How must our brand adapt to survive?
For some, brand health is strong and business is booming, e.g. media, entertainment, alcohol, non-discretionary consumer goods. Most aren’t as fortunate. Their brand health is struggling mightily, and many won’t recover.
For those who are struggling the question urgently becomes – how must our brand adapt to survive? And this is beyond the quick and obvious channel pivot to digital. This is a conversation about re-evaluating what you’re really selling in the context of what consumers will truly value and need in tomorrow’s changed world.
A rigorous re-thinking of your consumer value allows you to come up with new and potentially far bigger combinations of value that your products, services, and experiences could deliver. Each new element of value and the right combination of these elements can pay off with a stronger competitive brand position, stronger consumer connection, and loyalty, and higher and sustained revenue growth. In sum, renewed brand health.
For brands, one lasting effect of the crisis today is that if you’ve ever just sold based on a proposition of functional attributes or benefits, e.g. quality, variety, convenience, you’ll need to sell far bigger in the future, e.g. providing hope, self-actualization, belonging. These needs are far more sticky. Many are likely under-addressed at the moment. And some might be feasible using current capabilities.
Rising To The Challenge
In times of uncertainty and change (or more specifically in the midst of this crisis), those who have the ability to pivot and adapt should come out stronger on the other side. The brand marketing playbook requires:
- monitoring of your brand, segment and audience sentiment
- adapting business, as feasible to the current situation
- proactively engaging with audiences
- using your influence to foster community and positivity through your actions
- assessing in war-room fashion the right time to activate your different campaign strategies and consumer touchpoints (e.g. minimizing commitments in OOH, print, cinema, experiential, and shifting to digital video platforms, TV, OTT, online shopping sites and apps, social commerce sites and apps, podcasts).
Since 1999, Trajectory has worked across the health and wellness continuum to help brands and businesses grow stronger. If we can assist in helping you build a strong foundation for future growth, please reach out.