Restarting (also) from the Brand

The Coronavirus has profoundly changed our personal and professional lifestyles, confronting us with new scenarios and challenges.
During these weeks, many companies are experiencing a “forced break” and a substantial slowdown in their business, if not a total lock-down. Others are changing their core business to meet new needs; all or almost all are implementing modes of smart-working, at least in part.

It is certainly a difficult and dramatic moment. However, this forced brake may also be exploited to rethink the presence and image in a market that, necessarily, has deeply changed (new lifestyles and habits, different consumer products as well as alternative channels of supply and communication, new ways of education, work, etc.) and that, inevitably, will maintain these changes even after the emergency.

Designing the future of the company with confidence and pragmatism means, first of all, maintaining the brand awareness alive in the consumer, but it also means “investing” in the brand, possibly associating it with know-how and innovation, so that it can represent a strong tool for reopening after lock-down.

Virtuous examples in this connection are certainly entrepreneurs who have filled their brand with positive value by showing, in different ways, care, solidarity and practical support to health care staff, patients, employees, suppliers, customers and consumers, and have become leading characters and spokesmen of founding values such as health, safety, environmental protection, solidarity, voluntary work, fundraising, flexibility, smart-working, problem solving and so on.

The (temporary) restyling of some brands is also strategic. Think, for example, of the M of McDonald’s covered by a mask, the four circles of Audi that are spaced out, or HARIBO’s jingle to wash your hands well. New claims and hashtags have been launched such as “Ripartiamo da Casa” (restart from home) by Ikea and #chileggenonsiferma (#readers never stop) by Feltrinelli. The CORONAVIRUS trademark has even been registered by a company which, by affixing it on a wide range of merchandising items, has funded treatment for many Covid-19 patients at the Spallanzani Hospital in Rome.

Restarting tomorrow means interpreting the new emergency today, expressing solidarity and confidence, as well as providing serious and concrete answers, as far as possible, to people’s new lifestyles, new needs and priorities, empathising with the surrounding reality.

An empathic, reassuring brand that is able to respond to the great challenge this emergency has set, by renewing itself and adapting to the needs of the “new” consumer, will certainly be rewarded by the market.

It should also be kept in mind that, more than ever, during this “forced isolation”, digital technology is the real leading character of all forms of communication, including information, promotion and advertising. Therefore, investing in the brand today also means maintaining under surveillance the online reputation and any abuse, by monitoring the web with specific tools and planning, where necessary and possible, actions to correct and/or remove violations. There are many pitfalls in the internet and these do not spare most.

With its CheckYourBrand service, Studio Torta is at the side of companies, fully operational even from remote, to face the great challenge of restarting after the lock-down.

Chiara Luzzato

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