How to protect your brand
Global marketing agency BBH recently released a white paper on how brands can protect themselves during this pandemic and the questions marketers need to ask to reposition their brand strategy during this time.
Global marketing agency BBH recently released a white paper on how brands can protect themselves during this pandemic and the questions marketers need to ask to reposition their brand strategy during this time: Brands & COVID – How to protect your brand: A briefing for marketing leaders.
BBH says COVID-19 represents a humanitarian challenge that is unprecedented in recent times: “Nations, economies, supply chains, workforces, relationships, sanity and spirits are being tested. Brands have the power to help – both the public and themselves – through this crisis. This briefing is intended to share instructive examples and data to guide marketing discussions; specifically in how marketing can help, the ways it can’t, what your teams can be mobilised to do in the coming months, how to overcome production challenges and how to vaccinate your brand to emerge well on the other side.” In the presentation, available to all marketers, BBH looks at:
- Where we are: The situation now, what is being affected and the implication for brands.
- Where we could be: How the situation might develop and the scenarios for brands.
- Immediate action: What brands can do now and in the coming weeks to stay trading and help people.
- How to produce: Some alternative ways to produce your marketing assets without shoots.
- The other side: How to plan for resilience and recovery based on previous economic shocks.
What this means for brands
The report focuses on tone and behaviour, as during a humanitarian crisis of this scale, brands cannot appear to be capitalising on the crisis in anyway or being opportunistic. Now is the time for empathy and reassurance. This is what BBH advises:
- Is any marketing live right now no longer appropriate? Are automated marketing systems wasting media and annoying consumers?
- Is any marketing about to go out no longer appropriate? Or are you making opportunistic decisions now (e.g. price increases) that you will later be judged on?
- Are you listening to your customers explicitly in social and through larger trends in the data to make sure any communications and actions are not tone deaf?
- Are any immediate actions you are taking couched in the benefit of people and their new needs? Not because you want to shift product.
- Have you turned off outdoor media and pivoted to in home media?
- Do you have a ‘Brains Trust’ to double check your marketing is appropriate as your team may be too close to matters? Assemble an unrelated team to put all major decisions by for a second opinion.
All the epidemiological modeling points to delayed economic recovery and a profound impact on brands right into 2021; as even when lockdown is ended in countries all around the globe, consumer spending will radically reduce the demand for brands and services across a myriad of industry sectors. BBH advises brands that they must assess the market first and how their consumers are reacting; to determine an appropriate and empathic way forward, by asking themselves the following questions:
- What are you hearing? Rapidly develop a new view of your customer, their new needs and new attitudes.
- What are the implications on your product and service offering likely to be in the coming months?
- What reassurance can you offer customers immediately through marketing that these will remain unaffected or improved?
- Is your marketing on the side of the people, playing into their new needs or assuaging their anxieties? Or are you flogging something?
- Have you updated your media plan to reflect people’s new media consumption?
The full BBH presentation is available here for download.
BBH is a global marketing agency with clients including Samsung, Nike, Tesco, Audi, Google, Absolut, American Express, Burger King and many more. This briefing is intended to share instructive examples and data to guide marketing discussions.
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