Promoting your brand should be top of mind for you right now. Why? Because brand impressions — positive and negative — are often made in time of duress. If you don’t add to the conversation, your audience will forget about you. However, finding a way to do this delicately is easier said than done. The pressure is on for companies to strike a balance between keeping their brand top of mind while also being sensitive to what their audience is going through. We gathered five branding experts to discuss how companies can do just that.
About the Discussion
Branding experts from Qualtrics, Instacart, The Trade Desk, ThoughtWorks and Built In gathered to discuss the importance of not only continuing to amplify your company’s brand in times of duress but how to pivot branding strategies to appropriately engage with an audience. The discussion covered how storytelling builds a connection with your audience, strategies for telling your story in today’s world and how to be empathetic in your messaging. The next section highlights six key takeaways from the discussion, however, if you want to hear all of the advice they shared, be sure to download the full, on-demand webinar here.
6 Key Takeaways
#1: Employees and customers are alike.
Your brand is your brand despite who you may be trying to attract, it’s just shown to each audience through a different lens. And employees and customers are one and the same, especially in turbulent times. They seek out the same qualities in companies they support and engage with your brand similarly. In fact, companies often try to entice customers to become employees.
#2: Employees tell the best story.
Who better to tell your story than the ones who live it every day, especially in times of uncertainty. Your employees are the best representation of your brand and, in the midst of turmoil, they’re impacted the most. They feel the pain quickly and are the first to pivot. Allowing your people to tell your brand story builds a more authentic connection with your audience and helps get your message in front of more people.
#3: Showcase your culture.
When faced with challenges, people tend to think about what matters most. Candidates don’t care as much about your innovative new strategies; what they care about is how you treat your people and the community. Your company should embrace this mindset when sharing its story. Focusing on your mission, core values and culture within your messaging will humanize your brand and attract the attention of your ideal audience.
#4: Collaboration is key.
Branding initiatives are often spread throughout marketing and employer branding teams, making it difficult to keep a consistent tone of voice and messaging. However, consistency is key to a smart branding strategy. In fact, 60 percent of millennials expect a consistent brand across all channels. Collaborating across teams is key to creating a single, consistent branding strategy, especially in times of duress.
#5: Hone in on your ideal audience.
A one size fits all approach to branding will get you nowhere in turbulent times. Instead of trying to be everything to everyone, narrow down your messaging to speak to the specific customers and employees you’re trying to attract. Each audience will have different motivations for why they want to work with your brand during this time so lean into those differences and build your branding strategy based off this information.
#6: Honesty is the best policy.
There is so much unknown right now that people expect authenticity and honesty from companies more than ever. You must show your audience the good, bad and ugly of what’s happening with your organization. Doing so may be scary, but it will build the much-needed trust in your organization that fosters engagement with the right audience.
No matter how you decide to pivot your branding strategies during this time, remember that saying something is better than nothing. Remaining silent will not only remove your company from your ideal audience’s mind but it may even paint your organization in a negative light. Be sure to collaborate with all branding professionals to make sure you’re telling the right story, right now in the most empathetic way possible. This will not only position you as a leader within your own organization but in the eyes of your audience as well.