The massive spread of the coronavirus has, understandably, led organizations to focus on responding to immediate issues such as maintaining customer service and supply chain flow. At the same time, priorities are rapidly changing among customers, and little about their previous behaviors may seem normal or workable to them at this time.
We know from the last great economic challenge of 2008–2009 how important it is for brands to reassess their long-term strategy in the context of an unprecedented situation. Brand strategy needs to stay front and center at a time like this and should be anchored in a compelling and relevant purpose and mission. As we emerge from this crisis, customers will likely hold brands to even higher standards of purpose. Those that demonstrate empathy and humanity during this complex and confusing time will build stronger customer relationships, including preference and loyalty.
Brand strategy needs to stay front and center at a time like this and should be anchored in a compelling and relevant purpose and mission.”
Purpose could play an even greater role as we move to a post-COVID-19 reality. The implications of new customer mindsets coming out of this situation gives brands the opportunity to reassess and potentially re-align their purpose to better meet the emotional and practical needs of their audiences. Smart brands will do the “purpose-proofing” work in preparation for the crisis recovery period, and make the necessary revisions to their purpose.
Renewed clarity of purpose can arise from crisis, if you ask the right questions and seek meaningful answers. Here are some questions to guide a re-assessment of your brand purpose:
1. What are people’s expectations from brands in your space as society works through, and emerges from, this situation?
2. What are the changing priorities and needs of customers, and what jobs do they need to be done both emotionally and practically?
3. How does your brand purpose align with these changed expectations and priorities?
4. What existing brand strengths can you emphasize to ensure your purpose is seen as relevant, meaningful, and compelling?
5. Are there any gaps in your brand purpose that you may need to address, and refine your purpose accordingly so customers will remain loyal?
The implications of new customer mindsets coming out of this situation gives brands the opportunity to reassess and potentially re-align their purpose to better meet the emotional and practical needs of their audiences.”
In an ideal world, a brand purpose is designed to be evergreen, and not fluctuate due to passing whims in the marketplace. A global pandemic turns this notion sideways a bit. No brand will want to appear tone-deaf to the current context and inevitable shifts in society and customer behaviors in the coming months and years. Ensuring your brand purpose is in tune with these changes will also future-proof your growth.
If there’s a positive outcome for your brand right now, it’s that COVID-19 is the impetus to understand if your purpose really serves customers as best as it can, or if there is a way to make an even more positive impact moving forward.
Have questions about what’s next for your brand? Let’s talk.