How to Safeguard Your Brand’s Legacy During the Pandemic
4 MIN READ
As most of us have now realized, the world that we knew a few short months ago has ceased to exist and is unlikely to be something we ever truly get back to. When stay-at-home orders are finally lifted, we can only speculate at what the details of our new normal will look like, but we can predict how sentiment will likely change thanks to the Edelman Trust Barometer Special Report. In this recent survey, 12,000 respondents were polled from around the world on how brand trust has been impacted in light of the coronavirus pandemic.
At the end of March, 1 out of 3 respondents reported they were already punishing brands for how they responded to the pandemic. Similarly, 71% of global respondents say brands and companies they see placing their profits before people will lose their trust forever. This means how you’ve reacted in light of pandemic will permanently alter how people perceive your brand.
On the flipside, respondents reported globally that they are 60% more likely to turn to brands they are absolutely sure that they can trust, and 37% have started using a new brand because of the innovative or compassionate way they have responded to the coronavirus. Essentially, kindness and compassion carries the most weight for brands during these trying times.
Maybe you haven’t been in a position to do much to help your clients or community. Or maybe you buried your head in the sand hoping that the pandemic would be gone before you had to make any strategic decisions to deal with the coronavirus. Now is the time to use whatever resources you reasonably have available to show your compassion.
Even if you think you’ve done everything to show your humanity during the pandemic, there are still likely ways you can work on building and maintaining trust with your customers. This might be the last chance to safeguard your brand’s legacy, and we’re sharing the actions you can take to remain trustworthy.
Utilize your social media accounts to reach your public as quickly and efficiently as possible. According to the Edelman Trust Barometer report, 89% of respondents want brands to keep the public fully informed regarding how the brand is supporting and protecting their employees and customers. If you’ve had to layoff employees, don’t try to hide it. Instead offer information on your plans to hire them back or the outplacement services you’re offering to help them find a new job. Hit other setbacks in light of the pandemic? Be upfront about the struggles you’re facing (without indulging in self-pity) as everyone in the world can relate as we go through this shared trauma.
If it’s within your ability to offer discounts or special offers to help alleviate the burden of your customers, jump at this chance to earn additional trust. Eighty-nine percent of respondents want brands to offer free or lower-priced products to individuals directly impacted by the pandemic, such as healthcare workers and people who have recently lost their jobs. Many of our clients have taken this approach already. For example, Helix & Gene, a medical wellness company has recently launched a new program called Wellness63 at a reduced rate to enable more people to protect their health in a time when health is our most valuable currency.
If you’re unable to provide large sweeping discounts, share with your customers that they can talk to you directly to come up with a solution that can help their situation without bankrupting your company. This way followers know that you are open to offering assistance while also including a small barrier to entry that will prevent everyone from asking for a discount.
share the good
Take a page out Some Good News’ playbook and don’t be afraid to spotlight the good things happening in your brand’s circle. Amplify the good work that partners are doing, such as charitable donations or discounts. If someone with your company has been going out of their way to help others, consider spotlighting the good work they’re doing delivering groceries to an elderly neighbor or making face masks for those who don’t have any. In the report, 84% of respondents want brands to bring people together through community building on social channels and simply using your online presence to amplify these messages will go a long way in preserving your community.
Create Compassionate Initiatives
After being inspired by the good others are doing, it’s time to use what you have available to give back to the community. If you have monetary resources available, consider offering to match donations up to a certain amount for your local food bank. If you don’t have the funds for donations, use your most valuable resource: your time. Consider setting up a virtual conference or webinar to bring people together to learn about a new topic. You could also simply set up a happy hour where people can talk and meet new people. Rebelle has pivoted from holding in person events and a large conference (which our CEO Emily Lyman will be speaking at when it’s rescheduled!) to having regular virtual events on subjects that are important to their community.
Unless you’ve done something to truly disservice your customers, there is still time to make things right. But keep in mind, there is no doubt that people will remember how you responded in light of the pandemic and in order to survive, you must focus on your compassion and humanity. If you’re looking for more tips on helping your business survive the pandemic, follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn and keep your eyes peeled for more blogs coming your way.