The Canopy — What challenges are brands facing as a result of COVID? And how to combat them. Back to top

What challenges are brands facing as a result of COVID? And how to combat them.

Looking back at the last few months gives me shudders; empty high streets, closed offices, eerie parks – the atmosphere felt like a scene from I Am Legend, except this time we’re not fighting hostile mutants, it’s an invisible virus attacking and interfering with our lives when we least expected it.

We cannot deny this uncertainty has scared us all and left us questioning what the next 12 months will look like, both personally and economically. But amidst all of the fear, anger and frustration have been droplets of beauty; mankind restoring our faith in communities, friendships and a newly discovered work-life balance for some. Our communication with one another now feels more important than ever.

How that communication looks varies; it may be choking up at Virgin Media’s emotive advert, crying with laughter in virtual quizzes, or having long and lazy picnics. If there’s one thing for certain, it’s that this human connection we seemed to have discovered, must be held onto and never let go.

So, with that being said, we now feel as though we are slowly moving into a “new normal” but are consequently being faced with a new set of challenges.

 

“Our team are working alone, but we must make them feel a part of our brand, every day”

 

Lots of companies think of a brand as an external marketing tool, that their internal company culture is different, but they couldn’t be more wrong. Your brand is also an authentic way for your team to connect with company culture, missions and feel part of something bigger.

Having everyone singing from the same hymn sheet means they automatically become brand ambassadors, they all move in the same direction and consequently let your customers know exactly what and who you are.

Ask your team how they would describe your brand’s mission in a sentence? – do you receive a variety of answers, are they similar in message, or have people struggled to describe the mission? If so, define and share the brand promise. After all, how can your staff be expected to connect with something they can’t describe?

I also think linking your internal and external marketing efforts really helps. Investing in staff handbooks, presentations, stationery, team Zoom happy hours, really allows staff to buy into the brand. You want the brand to run through their veins, and if it does, they’ll feel a part of the culture, understand the business plans and give them something to live up to.

 

“We want to upsell to our customers, but don’t want to seem insensitive so need to acknowledge what is happening around us”

 

It’s time to put our thinking caps on. How can we succeed at selling when we’re going through what people are calling The Great Shutdown? As many shift work patterns, the way we advertise and attract customers must change, but not the why we do business.

Brands must learn to excel at the new (remote) sale and remember their fundamental goal of solving challenges remains unchanged. We should adapt and be sensitive to what our customers may be experiencing, whilst justifying why your products can help them.

Take Apple’s absolutely genius video “The whole working-from-home thing” which tells the hilarities of working from home; but in a raw and truthful way. It resonates with their audience, making them feel human. I love this advert as it doesn’t pretend working remotely is perfect, but demonstrates how amazing the Apple products are and how they make working as a team easy and accessible. Especially when thinking about the Microsoft teams advert which is clean cut, no mess and totally unrealistic.

Rethink your approach and change the angle of the benefits of your products and services in a way that is relevant to coronavirus concerns. Don’t be afraid to acknowledge the good, the bad and the ugly.

 

“Our brand doesn’t represent our market position or mission anymore, we need to move forward but are worried it will be a big risk during at the moment” 

 

Many companies have had an incredible few years, going from strength to strength and because of that, didn’t have time to update their brand to reflect their vision, positioning, values, and brand direction. However, now could be the perfect time to step back and rethink your long term goals.

Reviewing your brand can be an effective solution during and after a crisis. Acting as a catalyst for change and pushing you to find new opportunities.

Although you may think of this as a risky move, think again, it gives you a chance to invite customers or prospects to reevaluate your business. It indicates a new direction for the company, and in turn, a chance for your team members to feel a part of something exciting and refreshing.

Our team of bold, brave, curious creatives are ready to help you make headway and drive to new heights of success. A change that will increase client loyalty, have purpose and confidence in an even greater competitive market.

I’d love to hear about the challenges your brand might be facing at the moment. There’s nothing quite like bouncing around ideas — say hello > [email protected]

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