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TECHNEWS · Sunday, October 4, 2020

Building brand resilience in times of disruption

For some organizations, survival is the only agenda item. Others are gazing through uncertainty, thinking how to reposition themselves post the COVID-19 crisis, once the dust has settled and things return to the “new normal”. Even though no one can truly say what the new normal will look like or how long the crisis will last, one thing is for sure - the brands will come and go.

Organizations and individuals will feel the effect of COVID-19 long after the virus has gone and so will your brand reputation. What will people remember about your brand? Will they remember your latest product or service offering? No, they will remember your humanity as a brand. What you stood for, your core values, and how you spoke and serviced them with empathy and understanding. Your brand is much more than a tagline, visual, or website; and it’s something every company should pay attention to, it’s not exclusive to the big players. Every big brand started off as a small brand, think Amazon, it started in a garage with minimal branding to being one of the Big Four technology companies in the world.

Remember, your brand represents the total experience your customers experience when doing business with you. From your logo, organizational values and customer service, every interaction point with your brand helps to shape and define your brand messaging, whether their impression of you is positive or lukewarm.

Ensure that you adjust your brand messaging during this COVID-19 period, to reassure your customers during these turbulent times. All your branding messages should be rooted in empathy, care, and kindness.

Four ways you can position your brand messaging during COVID-19:

1. Humanize your branding

  • It’s more important now than ever to be authentic in your communications. Create memorable moments that connect your business to your customers, through pictures or inspiring stories that show our interconnectedness.
  • Let your customers see themselves in your stories. This could be short social media stories in the life of your employees, so your customer can connect to the everyday people helping to service them.

2. Increase your social media presence

  • Keep your customers abreast of any changes in your business, this could be operating hour changes, new delivery times, new products or services, or even any community initiatives you might be part of.
  • If you don’t have any news, share words of encouragement to show that you care.
  • Share other reputable news agency information, that could be of interest to your customers.

3. Create surprise and delight moments

This is about going over and beyond standard customer expectations. You could:
  • Add an extra personal touch by sending loyal clients a birthday surprise, which could be a gift card or promo code to redeem to spoil themselves.
  • Listen and acknowledge customer feedback, sometimes the best product or service innovation comes from customer feedback.

4. Open Communication

  • Define your brand messaging for this period and then give detailed communication on how you are ensuring employee and customer health and safety during this time, ensure the messaging represents your brand and is not generic.
  • Ensure your messaging is empathetic, yet firm in what the required procedures are to ensure everyone’s safety. Your honesty and transparency will go a long way in building and maintaining brand trust.

As we slowly move through the pandemic and into the “new normal”, keep in mind that the future relevant brands that will be celebrated most will be those which are rooted in human purpose. At their core, they exist to serve humanity for the better and push it towards progression, by solving for social, economic or environmental challenges.

Future business resilience is rooted in putting humanity first and intersecting the business mission with a greater societal purpose. Ask yourself, why does your brand exist, and how does it contribute to society as a whole? A brand’s purpose will only be relevant if it sits within a customer’s own purpose, and they see themselves within your brand.

Andisa Yako

Article courtesy of Andisa Yako. Andisa is a Marketing Manager at FNB South Africa, a financial services bank. She’s a Marketing and Innovation Solution Strategist expert with over a decade of experience in building innovative solutions within the financial services entrepreneurship industry. Andisa is a TVLP Institute alumna based in South Africa and a freelance Marketing and Innovation Solution Strategist consultant. Connect with her on LinkedIn.

Ph. credit Mohamed Hassan from Pixabay

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