18 Mar Brand Management – Pandemic Edition
Rapidly changing conditions and recommendations are dramatically impacting the direction of many companies right now and many businesses are still in crisis communications mode.
Many businesses, however, are moving past crisis mode and are closed or have rapidly reduced their operation. The question now becomes – [pullquote]what can we do to maintain our brand and remain sensitive to the impacts of the crisis?[/pullquote] If you’ve already adapted to the “new normal” where your business is concerned there is a lot you can do to strengthen your brand and your reputation. Here are some tips to help you navigate these uncharted waters.
- First and foremost, focus on the greater good. Aside from messages about your business that your customers require you should focus on creating content that is helpful in some way. This is not the time for sales messages. What aspects of your business can be helpful to everyone, not just your customers? Brainstorm creative, easy ways you can contribute through relevant, non-promotional content. For example:
- Restaurants providing daily recipes from their menu that are easy to make at home.
- Dermatologists offering remedies for chapped hands.
- An improv consultant creating short videos on using improv tools to reduce stress.
- Engage, engage, engage. Now is the time to engage one-on-one with you customers and the world at large. Get on social media – read and reply to tweets and Facebook posts that resonate with you and your business. Create helpful Twitter lists that are relevant to what you do and help curate content for people. Celebrities will tell you fans are created one person at a time. That goes for you as well right now too. More engagement will naturally grow your reach as well.
- Investigate new or unused messaging channels. Okay, this is NOT the time to send unnecessary emails. Just STOP IT RIGHT NOW. For many organizations, email is their main mode of emergency communications and they don’t need your fluff filling up their Outlook inbox. If you have been thinking about Instagram, add an account now. Revive that sleepy Twitter network. Use your LinkedIn personal network for your greater good messaging. See if you can provide expertise via Reddit.
- Create a share strategy. Many essential businesses and nonprofits need our help sharing messages. If your grocery store needs your help sharing a message about responsible shopping, decide to do that on a regular basis. Create a list of their social network accounts that you plan to retweet or repost on a regular basis. If you’re a local retail store, look in your geographic area. If you’re national, choose organizations that are relevant to your business or for whom you have a particular passion.
- Stop selling. Above all, stop selling or doing any activity that is self-promotional right now. Any attempt to grow your business right now will look bad, plain and simple.
Forget about marketing your business and focus on what you can do to help others. That’s the best way to strengthen your brand right now.