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How a company’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic can affect their Reputation

A company’s financials are not the only thing affected by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic — their reputations can also be affected depending on how they’re responding to it. In the age of social media, everyone is monitoring these responses as well; to the point that they are even considering whether to give or do business with these companies once the crisis subsides.

 

This is where branding is important. Branding is not only the design of a product or company, but how it conducts and promotes itself in certain situations.

The biggest mistake one can make is not acknowledging the gravity of the current situation or the situation itself. For example, promoting an ad or product during these times as if nothing has happened would be considered inappropriate or even insensitive.

Not adhering to social distancing guidelines or promoting the practice either is also a big mistake. Many companies have been getting creative amid the quarantine when it comes to promoting various health guidelines or adapting to these unprecedented times.

 

By following science, addressing the COVID-19 situation and delivering socially responsible messages and content — as many companies have and should be doing — they are connecting with the values of many of their consumers. This is especially important as younger consumers tend to reward brands that share their values.

Contributing to the public good is another way a company’s reputation can benefit during these times. For example, given the increased demand and reduced supply of hand sanitizers, some companies, such as Canada-based Labatt Breweries and Central City Brewers + Distillers have pivoted and started producing them on their own, making it completely free for frontline workers.

 

“This is really a pivotal moment for brands to behave as good citizens and to contribute the best they can to the public good, rather than to be seen as a good company,” Brand Citizenship pioneer Anne Bahr Thompson said.

Lastly, while some companies will still need to focus on making sales, it’s important not to seem salesy during these times. Brands that are exploitative or partaking in price gouging will suffer, but those that connect on a human level and benefit their consumers will find much more success when it comes to sales, loyalty and their reputation.

 

Hyundai’s television ad campaign offering to cover six months of payments to those affected by COVID-19 is a good example of this. Other companies that are making donations for relief efforts with every purchase or are offering discounts as much as 50 percent for frontline workers are other good examples.

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Whether you’re a current company affected by the ongoing pandemic, in the process of setting one up and need a business consultation, or are looking for advice for a future crisis, Canada Create is there for all your branding needs. You can email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call us at (416) 273-9030.

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