The current COVID-19 crisis, defined as a pandemic by the World Health Organization, is unprecedented. Governments, local businesses, and international brands are all crafting responses to share educational information as well as details of how their company and their brand is supporting their customers. Given the multitude of communication and channels available (social media, company websites, corporate press releases, and 24–hour news coverage), we took the opportunity to review how different brands have responded. We found a strong correlation between a well-defined brand and communication that resonates with their audience and reinforces their brand promise.
Strong Brand Examples
A brand is a name, term, symbol or any other feature that identifies one seller’s good or service as distinct from those of other sellers. And a well-defined brand will always be an invaluable tool to help prospective customers evaluate one solution from another. While the difference between Coke vs. Pepsi may seem trivial at this time, how the Coca-Cola Company prioritizes the health, safety, and security of associates, consumers, customers, and communities at this time is very important to their brand.
Another example from a well-established brand is Patagonia. The letter from Patagonia CEO, Rose Marcario, apologizes for order delays and customer service requests, and cites the importance of employee and community safety. Their message is very consistent with their image regarding environmental concern and activism.
Evaluating Your Brand
What about your brand? Do you have a defined brand promise, purpose and vision? What can your customers expect from you in this time of uncertainty? The health and reputation of your brand is more important than ever. Take time to review your own brand and messaging, clarify your promise, and connect. The need for (physical) social distancing only reinforces the need for continued communication, strong messaging and brand promise.