Today, my goal was to come up with a meaningful article about branding that offered some concrete tips useful in the midst of a pandemic.
Nothing was coming to me. In search of inspiration, I went to google and typed “branding and the pandemic.”
In case you are wondering about the likelihood of those two terms together yielding any meaningful insight, I suggest you search the headline of this article yourself. Ten full pages of results were returned. (BTW—I stopped looking through the pages at that point because I grew tired of the exercise, not because the results stopped matching my request.) The illustration below from page 1 shows some of the many different variations on the theme.
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Skimming through the headlines as well as a few of the articles, you’ll find that every imaginable subject has been addressed – the good, the bad, and the ugly. While the amount of information is overwhelming, one fact becomes abundantly clear – branding is important during these difficult times and deserving of every bit of attention you can spare, even though no time and opportunity may seem to be available and the subject of branding may be the furthest from your mind and fairly low on your current list of priorities.
Many of these articles are good ones, and we suggest you use some of your many hours of isolation to acquaint yourselves with the range of insight and good advice being made available.
That said, let me ease your mind – we don’t plan to use this article to reinvent any of those wheels. Instead, we will remind you to read our earlier pieces on Crisis Management and building some strategic plans for “Weathering the Storm” and identifying parts of your business that you might be able to re-engineer to function in a mostly online environment.
Assuming you’ve already acquainted yourselves with these bits of advice, today’s suggestion is one that might be deceptively difficult to execute: spend some time on meaningful self-reflection.
- Who do you think you are as a company?
- What can you and your company do to ease the burden of the pandemic? (ex: make personal protective equipment; serve meals to first responders; deliver products to the elderly)
- What impression do you want your customers to take away when linking your company name and the pandemic? Will you be considered a valued member of the community contributing to the greater good? Will you be thought of as being one of those organizations with so much talent and expertise that you were able to adapt your operations and offer a valuable product and/or service to others while existing under pandemic restrictions?
Once you arrive at an honest answer to these questions through this period of self-examination, what measures can you take to make that happen? Consider:
- Who you have been (and whether that is who you want to be)
- The steps you can take to be perceived in the desired way
- The kinds of plans you can put into place to better equip yourself to deal with crises of this kind in the future.
Once you have a clear vision and understand your brand aspirations, we can help identify useful strategies to implement the results of your self-reflection.
Our Offer to You:
Feel like you need a little assist to make this self-reflection a meaningful and useful exercise? If so, we’re happy to help other business owners identify opportunities to adapt their resources and skillset to aid their communities (just one of the ways we can do our part during these hard times). We’ll also work with you on a plan for reinforcing your brand in a positive way while being of service to others. Just let us know a little about your situation in the comments below . . . describe your business and expertise, and we’ll start brainstorming with you.
Be careful. Be safe. Embrace this opportunity to understand yourself and your brand better. When the pandemic does finally end, you’ll be in a better position to resume more normal activities.