by Natalie Robson

March 30, 2020

Let’s be honest. All anyone is trying to figure out right now is what it’s going to take to survive this moment.

This past week, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban did an interview with CNBC and said, “How companies respond to that very question is going to define their brand for decades.”

And he’s right.

Crystallizing your message is more important now than ever before and being true to your brand and your corporate values can make you stand out at a time when everyone is trying to get their voices heard.

So, what can your organization do to reinforce who you are as a brand as it relates to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19)?

  • Share your story. For every scary thing I read about COVID-19, I also see a story about people who are trying to help. New York fashion houses are transforming their studios to create masks, liquor companies are producing hand sanitizer and book publishers are offering free audiobooks to children and their families. We don’t know about these uplifting moments without media coverage. Like my colleague Amy McGahan writes, the media is looking for stories to share as they relate to COVID-19. Find ways to share stories about the different ways your company and your employees are giving back to your community.
  • Adjust your messaging. Today companies like Ford, Burger King and State Farm have tweaked their advertising messaging to focus on supporting customers during COVID-19. We know that their goal is to continue selling their product, but by creating more sympathetic messaging, these companies are creating even stronger brand loyalty sentiments with their customers, which will benefit these brands after this crisis subsides. For more information on the dos and don’ts of advertising during COVID-19, check out Nicolle Huffman’s blog.
  • Be transparent. Now is the time to focus on your internal and external communication. While it is important to communicate to your customers, it is equally, if not more important, to honestly and clearly communicate the path forward to your employees. Remember, this is a scary time for them too, especially if they are asked to come in to work. For more tips and tricks on how to communicate internally, check out my colleague Karin Bonev’s blog.
  • Show your support. Support your community—the doctors, nurses, grocery store employees—the ones that are making a difference to keep you safe. Get involved as a leader and partner in your community.
  • Stay true to who you are as a brand. Now is the time to reinforce who you are as a company. Do not try and reinvent, but rather strengthen your identity and overall messaging strategy.

The only way we can really know what our favorite brands are doing in response to COVID-19, is if they are talking about it. But, how do you talk about it without sounding self-serving? Simply put, it all starts with your brand and your messaging.

So, what is your strategy? Let us help you figure it out. Drop us a line, and we can help you develop your brand’s messaging during COVID-19.