We are beginning to accept that life will not spring back to normality straight away. We are preparing for the ‘new normal’; a period of adjustment and recovery from the momentous shock our global community has suffered.
Whilst the public tries to cope with confinement, financial insecurity and the loss of loved ones, leaders in the business community have a duty to steer their companies through unchartered waters. The battle to survive the ensuing economic downturn is only just beginning.
When we wrote a book last year, ‘Disruptive Branding: How to win in times of change’, we did not foresee the extent of the disruption that lay ahead of us all. However, our thinking - developed over decades of collective experience - remains broadly the same now, in the face of this terrible challenge.
Change is inevitable. Sometimes it affects a particular industry in the form of new technology. Sometimes an unforeseen financial crisis plunges the global economy into a recession. And sometimes, it comes in the form of a novel virus.
The change we are now experiencing has been unusually sudden. Swift government action created new patterns of working overnight in many countries. Job security was eradicated and consumer behaviour has ricocheted between finding sanctuary in traditional comforts and widespread adoption of new technology.
But alongside that change has come unprecedented levels of adaptation. We have seen that those who respond with agility, navigating change with creativity have a chance to survive and even to thrive.
We believe brand is a tool to manage these times of change. Brand must be put to work to help your business achieve its goals. Whether that is ensuring your staff are reassured with compassionate communications or taking tough decisions about which steps your company needs to take next; strong brands survive crises.
Leaders have a responsibility to their organisations to chart a way through uncertainty that will provide stability, job security and value creation. Brands should be held to the same standard. We've outlined 4 steps that leaders can take now to use brand to deliver real results for organisations around the world. We have seen seismic change before. And we know that creativity springs from the ashes of disruption.
The next 12-24 months will bring many challenges. Leaders will see them as opportunities and will, now, more than ever, make their brand work.
Co-founder and CEO, Saffron Brand Consultants