Why Branding Matters, Especially in a Pandemic

Image: Why Branding Matters, Even in a Pandemic

Your company's brand is more than just a name or a list of products and services offered. It’s a statement about what your business stands for and how customers feel about you. During times of crisis, like the pandemic we are currently dealing with, consumers want to be comforted and they desire to do business with companies they feel they can trust.  

Trust is related to transparency. Sixty-six percent of shoppers report being attracted to companies that are honest about where they source their products and what they care about besides the profit margin. When your company is seen taking positive action that puts the safety of customers, employees and the community first, it builds your brand as authentic and caring. This not only influences buying decisions now, but it will continue to affect consumers after the pandemic is over. 

Branding is always important, but it is especially necessary in a pandemic.  

Why Branding Matters 

Your brand is the perceived image of your company and what you sell. What people say and think about when they hear the name of your business is your brand. Branding is the process of creating that ideal image in the minds of consumers. 

When present and potential customers can connect your business to values that are in line with their own, they tend to remember. When you treat your employees well, word gets out. If you take a stand for worthy causes, people notice. These actions are never more important than in a time of uncertainty. During a pandemic, your brand should bring a sense of normalcy and familiarity to affected households.   

Branding is not something you turn on and off. If you are not present and establishing your place in the minds of customers during a pandemic, you’re setting the precedent that you won’t be there when they need you most. Your brand will suffer and so will sales.      

Brand Awareness 

Companies that make long-term advertising plans with an eye toward creating brand awareness report being more successful than if they had not engaged in a customized media campaign. The pandemic has us all in uncharted territory and consumers are looking to spend their money with businesses that are honest about their intentions. Eighty-six percent of shoppers say that authenticity is a key factor when deciding which brands they will support. 

Learn to Think Like Your Customers  

When you think like an organization, you tend to focus on revenue. When you get caught up on the bottom line, it can be easy to lose sight of what helps you reach your goals - pleasing your customers. It may sound cliché, but to succeed in business and create brand awareness, you need to put yourself in the customer's shoes. 

What does the customer want from the experience? Are you solving a problem for consumers? How are you best doing that? Engage in social listening to discover what consumers are thinking and feeling during this time. Effective social listening will help you to know what consumers are struggling with. An effective response shows them you are listening to their needs.    

Purpose-Driven Brands 

People trust brands that stay true to their mission. Brands that follow through on their messages can build long-lasting relationships with patrons, customers, and prospects. Consistency builds trust among patrons who expect the organizations they support to be authentic and transparent. 

According to Forbes magazinepeople are four to six times more likely to purchase from a purpose-driven company. Empathy and purpose are a brand's greatest currency during a pandemic.  

Empathy in Action 

Amphibian Stage in Ft. Worth uses theatre to inspire new ideas and increase understanding and empathy about the world around us.  When the pandemic hit, they pivoted efforts to support the local community even more. 

The non-profit theatre company created an online version of their De-Cruit classes to maintain their connection with and support PTS affected veterans in the communityDe-Cruit treats trauma through Shakespeare and science, a form of therapy that centers around acting and theatrical performance.  

In April 2020, Amphibian Stage decided to extend class offerings to non-military civilians given the stress brought on by COVID-19. They launched a public media campaign with KERA in Dallas to promote De-Cruit: Civilian – a new online program for anyone impacted by anxiety and trauma, based on their scientifically proven, veteran designed De-Cruit classes.  

This kind of campaign builds awareness, trust, and support, and creates a Halo Effect that shows the organization cares about their community. 

To help your purpose-driven brand or nonprofit reach the right audience of influentials and develop a Halo Effect, you should work with an experienced public media partner. Creating brand awareness during a pandemic will serve your community and your organization well for years to come.      


Download the Public Media Marketing 101 eBook