How to Adapt Your Brand During COVID

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. 

How to Adapt your brand during covid

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! 

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:

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! 

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 Shopi­fyVen­mo 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?!

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. 

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. 

About the Author

Nicte Cuevas, Principal of Nicte Creative Design, empowers mission-driven businesses through strategic design & branding. Nicte has applied this when working with Adobe Spark and Twitter Business, LinkedIn Learning, Dogs on Deployment and Purina, Girl Scouts, The Houston Zoo and The Contemporary Arts Museum. Her excellence in communication design & marketing has been recognized by multiple national / international awards, including a coveted feature in Graphic Design USA's People to Watch.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}

Want to learn más?

Elevate your branding, color psychology, and design skills with our LinkedIn Learning courses. They have over 122,000 global learners. So what are you waiting for? Start learning today!