How to manage your brand’s reputation during Covid-19
When we look back at this time, the time that Covid-19 paralysed the world, separated families and brought the country to the brink of collapse, what will we remember?
Without doubt, NHS personnel will be recalled with a fondness for their selflessness in keeping us safe, so too will be the volunteers who staffed food banks and kept vulnerable families furnished with every-day essentials. The schools that remained open so that key workers could carry on their valuable work will also have a special place in our hearts when we review what has been a truly difficult time, personally and professionally.
On top of this bedrock of solid performers are the surprising heroes – Joe Wicks who kept us exercising, Jamie Oliver for showing us how to keep cooking and carry on, and not forgetting the Queen who reminded us that history will remember our actions.
What will we remember?
Who will be remembered for negative reasons? No doubt, the business that disappointed, the brands that let us down and the people who didn’t make the grade when we needed them most. Examples include JD Sports who failed to prioritise staff safety and Scotland’s Chief Medical Officer who resigned following an ill-judged visit to a holiday home ignoring the NHS’s own #stayhome advice.
As marketers, how can we help our clients protect their reputations at times of crisis and how do we best advise them so they emerge with a deeper more meaningful relationship with their customers?
Without doubt, profound relationships can be built and maintained during a crisis, however, what’s important to understand is that there’s no more ‘business as usual.’
The brands that are nailing it at this time are those who are doing something meaningful or giving something of value to the people that matter to them.
From farm shops such as Craigie’s Farm Shop delivering groceries to people’s homes, including older people and those unable to get out, to Montessori Partnership offering learning advice to novice homeschooling parents and William Purves Funeral Directors who remain committed to supporting grieving families despite the intense restrictions on funeral services. All of these businesses have been driven by a clear set of values that remain constant throughout, it’s the tone and style of messaging that has changed to be more appropriate to the time.
Now is not the time to be selling. It’s a time to communicate, add value, provide solutions and reassurance and, if appropriate, be creative to spark joy in these dark times.
For Represent, we are focused on supporting our clients by being responsive and nimble in our approach. The 12-month client plans prepared months in advance have been consigned to history and in its place a dynamic approach that maximises opportunities to achieve stand out on social, in print and on broadcast channels. Our messaging is clear and connected to the needs and wants of our clients’ specific audiences and the tone respectful, authentic and approachable.
What we can learn from this experience has yet to transpire, but those of us who remain curious and brave in our approach will come through this. So too will our clients who will emerge stronger and able to reap the rewards of the generosity shown when they were needed most.
If you are struggling to see how you can protect and project your brand during this time, get in touch for a free consultation.