by James Vella Clark
In my last contribution I had made the assertion that the brands who keep communicating will be the ones who will come out stronger when we finally manage to ride the bulk of the disruption caused by this ongoing pandemic.
But communicating for the sake of communicating becomes just noise. And at a time when people need clarity and vision, noise is the least thing they need. On the other hand, everyone is more alert, and more people are watching. So now could be a good time to strengthen and sustain your brand’s story.
The first step would be to redefine your audience. Go through a checklist of who your stakeholders are at this point in time, communicate with them and analyse where they stand in relation to your product/service offer to define the extent of your relevance to them. Make yourself felt, first and foremost with them.
Most businesses have had to re-evaluate most of their plans and projections. I am engaged with clients who have had to redefine their business activity altogether. One brand in particular, has done an amazing job in shifting what was a secondary business activity and making it its main operation. It has taught me the importance for businesses to always be prepared to adapt as need be.
This, in my opinion, says a lot about such companies because the ones who adapt best to market conditions are the ones who are certainly most capable to adapt to your expectations as a customer.
Another aspect that businesses should be communicating more is their ‘humanity’. They can do so by doing away with the corporate spiel that no longer works and by simply being more human, by showing empathy first and foremost with their people, by sharing in their concerns and offering hope, support and mentoring.
At a time when leadership seems to be lacking on so many different fronts, I would advise brands to speak regularly to all their team members who are working remotely, addressing employees through periodic messages and reaching out to clients to inspire confidence and control. Qualities of leadership and strength are what will convey a durable image that will make brands stand out above the rest.
Communication needs to also happen regularly and even if your business has been affected, keep your communication channels open and flowing. As the situation remains very fluid and public directives issued by Government keep changing, you will need to show that your business is on the ball, updating itself and complying to the scenario. This is what will reflect a brand that is prepared, that its own people are prepared and where ultimately a brand will win the trust it strives for.
Giving back to the community is also another form of communication. Every brand wants to make a difference in its customers’ lives so ask what your business can do to make a difference and bring a positive impact at this point in time. Besides transmitting your company’s values, showing a social dimension generates brand affinity, which is what people will also remember.
The past is not always a guarantee for the future, but some of the best lessons are always found when we look back in time. And history has shown that some of the most prominent brands flourished and brought meaningful impact during tougher times.
Again, people are watching. So, make this time count.
James Vella Clark – Ci Consulta