Welcome to 2020… Where possibilities for brands are limitless. The economy is strong (locally and globally). Consumers are spending, cross-channel, in digital and physical environments. Users are signing up for new apps and virtual services. AR, VR, AI, Machine Learning is technologically progressive. Autonomous vehicles and drone-like (flying) cars are the latest craze. Brands, companies and startups are investing more money and resources than ever before in marketing spend to yield breakthrough (uncanny) gains and profits.
Brand health is, well, quite good. Or, is it?
Meet Coronavirus (COVID-19). The biggest disruptor (!) in the 2020 market that anyone and everyone, near and far, has seen to-date. Its impact is felt, and felt in a major way. And, well, we’ve only just begun. For any great brand that survives and thrives, profit-driven strategies should always be a top-of-mind focus. However, different times truly do call for different measures. This, may very well be one of those unique moments in time and history where brand ethics, transparency, and empathy — must be at the front lines of all cross-channel strategies: even before profit.
Right now, we’re at a (brand) crossroads. A place that allows us to be seen and heard in the right light, or quickly judged and ridiculed for impromptu actions. Some may be trigger happy, ready to act on impulse, and see short surges of monetary gain. Others will be more holistic in their thinking, and therefore process and act logically, with a big-picture win on their radar.
The million (or billion) dollar question is, how will your brand be seen, heard, and remembered?
In a time of crisis, being human-first isn’t a luxury, but a requirement. Whether B2B (Business to Business) or B2C (Business to Consumer) at the core, all brands need to reflect inward. To think about their ethos for existing. Why are they here? What purpose beyond profit-driven strategies do they serve? Why do they matter? Why should anyone care? And, mostly, how will they help, and help when help is needed most. To purely push product or services out the door in crisis mode, to raise margins to drive up sales when supply is low or impossible to find, isn’t a strong brand/business model — but greed at it’s finest (or in this case, lowest) form. When crisis happens (and it will inevitably continue to as long as we co-exist), we must rally and unify together to show that we care first, above anything else. Taking this human-first position allows us to thrive in the moment, and to establish a level of resonance that will not be forgotten when the crisis amends, and things return to baseline. To support our local and global communities in an agile format that is quick to respond and react. To realize that people (humans) use our products, engage with our services, and are in fact people — just like those attached to the most brilliant brands, companies, and organizations that run and shape the world that we live in today, and our tomorrow. Now is the time for us to come together, and take action.
Let’s ride the Coronavirus Wave to drive (brand) growth, not gains.
RNO1 is an Agile Brand & Digital Experience Agency — deep-rooted on the west coast, with a global edge. We make waves™.