At Deskey, we believe that a brand is a collection of experiences made up of the exchange of goods, services, ideas, beliefs and values between organizations and consumers. Successful brands create positive experiences for their consumers that build strong emotional connections.
Now, as we navigate uncharted territory together, the strength of these connections is being put to the test as we look to support one another. As a society of individuals, we're accustomed to our beliefs and core values guiding our behaviors, creating rituals around interacting with other people. Our values haven’t changed, but the way we live them has changed suddenly. Just as values and beliefs guide people’s behaviors, so too, they guide a brand’s behavior.
Brands everywhere are examining their role in this health and economic crisis and asking questions they might never have asked before, like:
- What can we do to help?
- How can we be reassuring?
- What is the new normal?
- How will these changes affect us?
- Is it right for us to be part of these conversations?
These questions are warranted.
First, and importantly, there is no single answer that’s right for every brand. As we look externally for news and data to inform and frame these questions, remember, the answers can often be found by looking internally at the core of who you are as a brand. Second, during a crisis like the one we find ourselves in, complexity must be balanced with simplicity — the foundational cornerstones that answer why you, as a brand, exist in the world. Now is an opportunity to measure the strength of your brand foundation — your mission and purpose, your beliefs and core values, your positioning and personality.
DO WHAT YOU DO BEST
Upheaval and distress often urge us to react abruptly, to scramble, to stop what we’re doing, to try something new. History tells us that, during times of hardship, it’s best to rely on your expertise and have a clear purpose. There is value in reliability. Your actions should be authentic and reflect your core values. Rely on your organizational experience to guide your communications and activities during this time. The output of your expertise might look different from the usual, but that's okay.
BE COMMUNITY FOCUSED
How has the coronavirus pandemic affected your community, your brand's community, your brand team? Right now, we see a collective desire for togetherness both for our emotional well-being and also to process the chaotic changes happening in our lives. Let this be an opportunity to strengthen your brand's community as their emotional and functional needs shift. You rely on your ability to serve them, and they rely on you.
Environmental changes spur adaptation. Your brand’s positioning — the opinion it holds in the marketplace — is meant to be flexible. It is meant to evolve with the business climate. How consumers are interacting with the world is always changing, but we’ve become accustomed to a steady movement that we can predict and plan for, not seismic shifts in behavior. This is an opportunity to stay open-minded, to be observant for opportunities, to explore a world outside of previously aligned expectations.
PUT YOUR VALUES TO PRACTICE
When there is a disruption in normalcy, there is a desire to act. Your brand's values and beliefs should guide your behavior. No matter how humble your efforts, taking action to meet your consumer’s shifting need-state is necessary and appreciated. During this time, it's hard not to ask, "Am I doing enough?” Find the answer by staying true to your brand.