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How to remain 'on brand' in responding to COVID-19


Most corporations commit significant resources—time and money—toward the development of an enduring and valued brand. During periods of significant change, it is paramount that your organization knows what your brand represents to customers—safety, on-time delivery, exceptional quality, speed, cost-leadership, etc.—and ensures that your brand promise, or unique selling proposition (USP), is maintained and delivered. Delivering on brand during a global pandemic requires you to adapt to rapid change, and respond with appropriate operational and marketing initiatives that are aligned with your customers' brand expectations.

Adapting your marketing to respond to change

Marketing content needs to reflect the context in which customers will receive your brand messaging. Delivering the desired or expected customer experience requires that you are aware of your ‘brand essence'—your enduring point of differentiation.

Differentiating your brand in different circumstances

There are four considerations to position your brand in response to significant disruption.

Understand your brand attributes and build your brand pyramid

  • Develop a brand architecture (or brand pyramid) to use as a strategic guide in the design of all operations that impact brand touch-points. Factors to consider:
  • Brand vision—what is your organization's reason for being?
  • Brand attributes—what are the key characteristics that differentiate your brand?
  • Customer benefits—what are the most important functional and emotional benefits your customers experience through your brand?
  • Brand values—what is the most important value that your brand delivers to your customers?
  • Brand personality—what are the key traits that your customer will experience with your brand?
  • Brand essence—what is the enduring point of difference for your brand?

Link your brand attributes to customer experience—brand from the inside out

  • As your teams redesign business processes to accommodate the changing environment, it is critical that they are passionate about ensuring all changes are consistent with your brand essence. Brand is not what you tell customers you are (advertising messaging), but how your customers feel following an experience with your organization—using your products or services.
  • At each important customer touch-point in your customer-experience journey, document the brand expression that you want to create—consider functional and emotional features.

Map messaging platforms and content

  • Identify all messaging platforms (including TV, radio, print, outdoor, experiential, website, and social channels).
  • Audit current content.

Design new content for the new context

  • Devise on-brand messaging to align with changing realities and the evolving customer experience.

How BDO can help

BDO Consulting can help you to stay on brand when the environment in which you operate is off kilter. We offer:

  • Brand-impact assessments (brand-pyramid pain points)
  • Operational reviews
  • Operational branding (customer-experience redesign)
  • Campaign assessments and redesign

To learn more about how we can help, contact us.

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