Covid has made us all adapt overnight to the way we interact, work, raise our kids, shop, clean and eat, and with it, how we consume information. And brands are no exception.
It’s been striking to witness brand adaptability: how quickly COVID has been incorporated into ads, podcasts, social media marketing and print. Brands have become more aware, empathetic and responsive to the very real struggle caused by this sudden local-to-global about-face. By focusing on the needs and well being of their clients and employees alike, brands are now shifting and demonstrating their values, which in turn is changing their brand identity.
In fact, this has been a spontaneous opportunity for brands to set a new tone at a time when all are looking for anchors, familiarity and comfort. People are listening… so what brands are saying, doing, and endorsing has never been more important.
Learn From Brand Adaptability
One of the best ads we’ve seen is The whole working-from-home thing — by Apple They capture a dynamic so many are experiencing now— innovation and determination while working in the unique environment called home!
[youtube width=“100%” height=“100%” autoplay=“true”]https://youtu.be/6_pru8U2RmM[/youtube]
While this ad may not cover everyone’s situation, it has taught us to see beyond state-of-the-art offices, appearances and frills and see PEOPLE. And as a women-owned business, we’re happy to see that they chose a father as the parent figure navigating the difficult balance of working from home with kids.
It’s significant to see so many brands grow more humanized in response to real adversity. What can you learn from them to apply to your own work and brand? A LOT.
It’s About People’s Needs
The brands that now aim to make their audience really feel understood rather than saying, “Here, buy my product,” are the ones that can survive — and even thrive. We know Apple was showcasing their product abilities in that video, but they did it in a way that focused fully on people’s unique situation and needs, without leaning on concepts of “these difficult times” or saying “when things get back to normal.”
Truly listening to the needs of your audience and demonstrating that you have is not just powerful — it’s become necessary. This is one silver lining — and it can be for you too, whether you’re a big brand, a small business owner or an independent contractor. But how?
How to Adapt Your Brand During Covid
Here are three questions to ask yourself:
1.Where are the new needs with my clients and in my field?
This is the top thing to pursue. Our recent blog post on Empathy Mapping will help to get you there. Also, keep an eye out for new ways to contribute to solutions based on what you feel in your own life as a consumer. By expanding this way, your client base can increase, and you will find new ones — a remedy if your pre-covid client base has dropped. One example, shoe and fashion designer Steve Madden was one of the first to come out with masks, that came with PM2.5 filters, and offered packs of 5 replacement filters to order online. He created a whole new client base on that alone, his well-known brand providing a trustworthy source for filters while being an act of public service!
2. What can I do with my talents that will fill that niche?
Drawing from watching bigger businesses morph, how can you reimagine the way you use your talents or serve your clients in those new needs? What can you can do virtually that you aren’t doing already? So many have pivoted almost overnight to do things online even if they pervious hadn’t worked that way. You can too. Seek trusted sources to handle online sales of your product or service with proven E‑commerce software like Shopify, Venmo and PayPal services. There are many who can set your website up with it if you don’t feel you can. Once you do, my course on how to promote your work with confidence on LinkedIn Learning gives you what you’ll need to successfully connect and communicate on a deeper level with your audience. In fact, why not check out this segment which tells you what I can teach you right now?!
2. Who are the heroes that inspire me?
Find people in your field (or in general) that you admire. Look for those who do things the way you aspire to or who have what you want. Truly listen, explore what they are doing, and get inspired! There’s a wealth of videos, books, podcasts and Ted Talks out there; one Google session will reveal them. We love Simon Sinek’s Start with Why. It brings home the idea that people don’t buy what you do but why you do it! Besides COVID, there are so many issues that people care about on the front burner that it is a fertile time to be very clear about your why to connect with them.
Nicte Creative Design Can Help
We’ve been focused on Empathy Marketing for years, and are thrilled to see this coming to the forefront. We want to help you on your own brand adaptability path into the future.
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If you are looking to go deeper into a branding or rebranding, design, or strategic marketing advice, please CONTACT US! We’ll get through this — together.
It’s during a time of challenge and even crisis that we see how brands can grow their identity and align it with human-centered values.
While the world has a long way to go, we hope that the lessons we are learning due to COVID-19 make us see the value in empathy and humanity, bridging the gap from sales stats to impacting the lives of those who need it most.
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