We have talked so heavily about the value of your brand. In challenging times, the strength of your brand will be even more valuable than at any other point - aka, this is the moment of test that your brand has waited for.
Sit back, here are some questions to ponder:
1. what is the mission of your business?
2. what is your purpose, your 'why' and the core of your brand
3. What does your brand value? People, profit, innovation, strategy, environmental etc...
I ask clients to think of 3 words they want people to say about their brand, do you remember your 3 words?
A crisis like this current one generally separates the strong from the weak, and in saying that, a weak brand can take longer to recover than businesses with a strong brand message and identity. Your actions now can have a long-lasting reflection on your brand, so are you ready to stand behind your brand statement?
Strong brands can weather storms more strategically with clarity and ease of communications, knowing clearly what their brand represents and where it sits in the minds of consumers. Strong brands have built messaging around their business, which now, will reflect in their crisis communication and their behaviors going forward. Understanding your brand provides the direction you take in moments like these, the ones that stand up and make a change or the ones that pack up and pack it in.
"Crisis management experts have long argued about the longevity of consumer attention spans. Some have claimed even the worst reputation crisis fades within months, while others have suggested the impact can drag on for a year or more."
Some businesses value purpose over profit, some value innovation over practicality, in a crisis all thoughts and positions are needed, where does your business fit into the solution?
If your business falls into the innovation category, this is likely where you would be the ones designing new equipment, new solutions or new ways of expediting current systems with more efficiencies. If you value profit, you will see the opportunities on how you can make money at this time and capitalize using what you have for the most benefit. Those that value people will find ways of helping people, uniting people and serving people... there are purposes for all, this just reflects how your brand manages their direction in this time.
For small business owners, resources may be limited, finances may be scares, but as entrepreneurs, your ideas are plenty and your drive is always on. Knowing your brand, what does your consumer expect from you at a time like now.
Keep your messages on track, 'pretending' to value people first because it feels like the right thing to do is great, but it will never feel authentic and recovering from being 'fake' is just as damaging as doing nothing.
Choose a voice, choose a person to hold that voice and represent your brand in the most honest way you can.