Protecting your brand in times of change

Posted on May 03, 2020 by Jonathan Smith

One thing’s for sure; a crisis brings what matters into razor-sharp focus. And what we’re seeing with our clients at this time is a real desire to protect their brand and become more in-tune with their customers.

Here, we share our thoughts on managing your brand communications by listening to your audience, adapting your products and services, and connecting with your values.

Brand Communications

Listen – reach out to your audience

We’ve never been more isolated, and yet we’re not exactly apart. Never has there been a more important time to cultivate our communities and build valuable relationships.

There are a variety of ways to do this, including:

    • Starting or joining in with discussions that are relevant to your industry so that you can keep your finger on the pulse. For example, we’ve been participating in Facebook groups and discussions with other creative businesses to help us make decisions about how we communicate.
    • Observe your customers and think about how you can best serve them during this time. Is direct contact better than email newsletters? Would social media provide an opportunity to share regular updates? Is it enough to simply publish information on your website? Whatever you choose, make sure the emphasis is on the relevant communication channels.
    • Ask yourself what you can do today to strengthen your relationships tomorrow. Could this be the ideal time for you to pivot your brand strategy, share your brand story or shift your overall approach to marketing your products and services?

Adapt – don’t overpromise or underdeliver

Now is the time to set realistic expectations about your products, services and availability. Postpone projects you can no longer deliver, remove commitments from your diary that will no longer serve you, and turn your attention away from anything that could potentially harm your brand.

Ask yourself:

    • Could this be an opportunity to change or improve my offering?
    • How can I continue engaging with customers in a way that gives them confidence in my brand?
    • In what way can my business be useful?

If there’s anything we’ve learned, it’s that those brands with a clear idea of who they are and how they serve are typically the first to adapt to change. And this isn’t about adopting the same approach as others. It’s essential to consider the unique role your brand plays in people’s lives.

What’s inspired us most is seeing the clients and partners of ours who are focusing on what they can do. So consider what’s possible for your brand right now and how you can adapt to make this new reality work for you and your customers.

Connect – set the tone and speak the truth

You are in charge of your brand, and you set the tone for how you respond to change. Taking the right actions and finding the right message can be tricky, especially in this fast-changing climate. Still, as long as you’re communicating with sensitivity and empathy, you can’t go far wrong.

Some ways to connect with your audience might be:

    • Talking about the impact on your business and ongoing changes in a thoughtful and relevant way that will genuinely help people and businesses.
    • Posting something lighthearted, uplifting and genuinely encouraging to take your audience’s minds off things, being careful to remain tactful, of course!
    • Testing out your various marketing channels and playing with your social media content. Try that new strategy, expand on your brand story, show up and share your experiences.

Many brands fear trying new things, but during this period where people’s focus is mostly elsewhere, it could be the time for getting into a better rhythm with your communications.

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With the right mix of compassion and creativity, you can help soften the impact and be a source of motivation and inspiration.

With the right mix of compassion and creativity, you can help soften the impact and be a source of motivation and inspiration. We’re programmed for connection, and our ability to listen, to adapt and to connect during these times is what will help our businesses overcome this.

If you haven’t already, now might be a useful time to download our free mini workbooks and make a start on evaluating your brand and auditing your website. We’ve included some handy questions and checklists to help you spring into action. And if you have any questions, you’re welcome to get in touch with us here in the studio.