Purposeful brands: how to make a difference in pandemic times?

The global outbreak of the new coronavirus has transformed the reality we knew. With the social distance, several segments such as economy, culture and education, have been deeply affected as a whole. In this context, organizations were forced to make changes to their business models to minimize the damage caused by Covid-19. However, more than

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The global outbreak of the new coronavirus has transformed the reality we knew. With the social distance, several segments such as economy, culture and education, have been deeply affected as a whole. In this context, organizations were forced to make changes to their business models to minimize the damage caused by Covid-19. However, more than that, many of them are finding chaos an opportunity to consolidate their brand purpose.

Relevant companies are built around a purpose

It concerns the essence and what we want to convey to the world. Therefore, the purpose of a brand must be present in all areas of the organization and be put into practice, on a daily basis, with all its stakeholders.

To be effective, the purpose must be clear, objective and timeless. With this, the organization needs to know its roots in depth, understand what makes it relevant to its audiences and how it can act in order to have a positive impact on society.

Having a well-defined purpose helps companies to act in a strategic, innovative way, and to have more consistency in their actions. This, consequently, generates more engagement by its employees and a more solid connection with its consumers and partners, even more at times of crisis as we are living today.

How can your brand be useful during the pandemic?

With the spread of COVID-19 and all the impacts caused by the disease, companies are facing the challenge of positioning themselves – according to their values – and finding ways to be useful to society at times like these. Here are some current information that can help put the brand actions on the right tracks:

The art of understanding expectations

A study by Kantar pointed out the main expectations of Brazilians regarding the brands in this period. According to the survey, 25% of respondents expect them to set an example for society; 21% believe that they should find ways to help their consumers on a daily basis; for 20%, brands must send a positive message about the crisis, showing that it can be overcome; and 18% think they should use their knowledge to keep their audience well informed.

It should be noted that brands that do not take a position on the crisis situation open space for their competitors to be more relevant and win over consumers.

It’s all about people

When creating a brand strategy for this moment, it is important that people’s health is a priority. For this reason, being aware of the gravity of the situation is fundamental, both to define actions within the company and the way it shows itself and communicates with its external public.

Companies need to mobilize in order to guarantee the safety of their employees and customers. Thus, it is important that it humanizes its internal processes, in order to ensure safety and adequate working conditions, for example, intensifying online service and adopting the home office system. And also be responsible, producing only content that meets the measures to prevent and combat coronavirus established by the World Health Organization (WHO).

Opportunism versus Social Responsibility

With the crisis, companies have the opportunity to present themselves as a socially responsible organization, discovering new ways to make a difference and cause positive impacts on society. Following this idea, Grupo Boticário announced the donation of 216 tons of hygiene products for people who are in a situation of social vulnerability. The company says that the action is in line with its purpose of “creating opportunities for beauty to transform the lives of everyone and thus the world around us”.

But before promoting external actions, it is important that companies make sure that their purpose is already being applied internally in a satisfactory way, offering (or building) ideal working conditions for their employees, such as the intensification of the hygiene processes in place, reduction of teams and hours worked. Otherwise, the brand’s actions can be seen by consumers as mere opportunism. 

To better understand, see the example of McDonald’s. After adapting its logo, in order to encourage social distance, the campaign “Separated for a moment so that we can always be together” needed to be taken off the air due to the great negative repercussion. The lawsuit brought accusations of opportunism against the fast food chain, which was not offering paid sick leave to employees in the United States.

With the impacts generated by the spread of the coronavirus, some organizations saw an opportunity to consolidate their brand purpose. But, first of all, it is necessary to apply it from the inside out and ensure that decisions and actions are taken responsibly.Therefore, brands must act according to their values, identifying what is at their fingertips at this time.