First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt famously declared: “A woman is like a tea bag – you can’t tell how strong she is until you put her in hot water.” The same may be said of brands and companies in times of crisis: You can’t tell how strong your internal brand is until you make it survive a crisis. The devastating COVID-19 pandemic, which continues to ravage the globe and upend daily life, has many consumers and clients thinking less about brands, and more about personal health and finances. But that doesn’t mean that branding should all but cease. The following are reasons why focusing on your internal brand is imperative right now, and how to focus on your brand in a tactful and eloquent way.
Your Internal Brand Shows Your Company Cares
Branding in crisis is all about walking a fine line. It’s a tricky balance right now – you want to convey that your company cares about not only its consumers and clients, but also the world at large.
No area of life has gone untouched by the current pandemic, and to not acknowledge it might come across as tone-deaf.
Promotion – Not Exploitation
When branding in crisis, it’s essential to display a genuine, heartfelt message. When executed poorly, branding messages could be misinterpreted as trying to exploit a devastating situation.
You want your brand’s messaging to be on the right side of history – helping, not exploiting.
Stand Out, Be Memorable
Twitter and Square founder, Jack Dorsey, recently pledged to donate $1 billion to fighting the coronavirus. You can bet that subconsciously (or not), many consumers may now feel more goodwill towards both of Dorsey’s companies as a result.
“I hope this inspires others to do something similar,” Dorsey wrote on Twitter. “Life is too short, so let’s do everything we can today to help people now.”
As a society, we will reflect back on this period of the pandemic, and there will be certain brands that stand out in our minds. There will be the brands that stand out for good reasons – for their aid given in crisis, the money they donated to helping organizations, etc. – and then, there will be those that stand out for the not-so-good reasons.
Position your internal brand as a company that is memorable for the right reasons: lend a helping hand, offer assistance to consumers, and be a calming voice that cares.
Consumers Want Companies That Align With Their Values
In March, Forbes wrote about 50 ways companies are giving back during the coronavirus. Giving acts like these make consumers sit up and take note of brands and companies, for the right reasons.
For a while now, there has been a trend of consumers wanting to do business and spend their money with companies that align with their personal values. Be a value-driven company and brand that attracts high-level consumers who care. After all, like attracts like – water seeks its own level.
By branding in an eloquent way during a crisis, you stand out even more to existing customers and clients, and attract new ones with whom your tactful branding messages resonate.
Crisis Underscores a Company’s Values
What kind of values does your brand have? Ask: What do we care about? What areas do we really believe in?
Is your focus on the big picture? Do you want to uplift those around you? Great – then shout about it!
Clients and consumers care about the answers to these questions, so think through these things, and then add on to them.
Is your brand doing volunteer work – digitally, in this social distancing time, of course –to help those who may not be able to help themselves? Is your boutique advertising agency donating its services to a local food bank to help area residents know about the food bank, and how they can donate? Spread that message loud and clear.
Do good not to talk about it, but for the sake of doing good; however, make sure you share those good works with your consumers and clients. They’ll be glad to know that they do business with a company that cares.
Reconnect to Your Brand’s Values
Part of the process of underscoring a brand’s values is the necessity of reconnecting to what those values are in the first place. Think through things for your brand. Identify key elements of the brand, its values, and what the messaging is.
Core principles of the internal brand can sometimes get lost along the way as a company experiences growth. So get back to basics – dust off the core principles, revisit them, and promote them. Identify ways in which your brand can help others, and then make those ways of helping actionable – get to work.
Talk About Why Your Brand Cares
Nowadays, many consumers approach a brand from a holistic standpoint. They’re not merely concerned with the product or internal brand, but they’re also concerned with what the product or brand does on the whole – how it serves people, what kind of message it sends, and more.
DBC is a New York City-based branding agency that infuses design with data to solve complex communication issues. DBC is a Minority Business Enterprise serving companies and brands of all sizes and demographics.
Get in touch with DBC to start a conversation about growing your brand.