• April 22, 2020
  • By Leonard Klie, Editor, CRM magazine and SmartCustomerService.com

How To Craft Your Brand Response Strategy for Pandemics

Dipanjan Chatterjee, a vice president and principal analyst at Forrester Research, has authored a report that shares actionable advice for chief marketing officers to develop a framework and action plan for managing their brand during the coronavirus pandemic.

Marketing leaders are no stranger to crises, but, according toi Chatterjee, this one is different. Unlike other crises, this one is not of companies' own making; the scale and gravity are unprecedented; and the upheaval is far greater than usual. According to the research, based on more than 4,000 responses, Forrester found that companies' ability to create value is tied mostly to their ability to engage emotionally. Chatterjee maintains that the most potent driver of consumer choice is the ability of companies to be reassuring, helpful, trustworthy, and comforting during these difficult times.

Toward that end, Chatterjee recommends the following actions:

  • Choose words and actions carefully. Everyone is on edge, and this is not the time to be tone-deaf. This is the time to err on the side of good judgment, and sometimes good judgment means not saying anything if you don't have anything meaningful to say.
  • Go easy on the hard sell. Some 75 percent of consumers believe that it would be wrong to exploit the COVID-19 crisis to promote a brand. This is not the best time for conversion at the top of the funnel.
  • Collaborate like customers' lives depend on it. COVID-19 has had a pervasive impact across organizations and demands a total and inclusive response that supports employees, customers, and other stakeholders. You must constantly calibrate your response to the evolving circumstances with speed, but not without an empathetic view of human circumstances.

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