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Thought leadership

Keep your brand close to heart in a post-remote world

Christina Mullen, Brand StrategyBy Christina Mullen, SVP, Brand Strategy

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With the world starting to see “normal” on the horizon again, we ask ourselves: What will “remote” become? How will we work? How will we live? How will we connect to who and what we love? And part of what we love is, well, brands.

Brands have become an intrinsic part of human culture. During the last year, many people have felt isolated and anxious. These very real emotions can upend our faith in the world around us. And while many brands were already working with strong digital presence, having been forced to experience brands with no tactile or live component has exacerbated a sense of disconnection.

This means that as a brand, now more than ever, you need to remind customers why you exist and what you stand for. You also need to clearly communicate how you have risen up to meet your customers where they are in this challenging environment.

“Never before have brands been asked to show their true purpose and leadership as they are today. It has been inspiring to see companies across industries and throughout the world come together to address some of the most pressing needs brought about by this crisis,” said John Travis, VP of brand marketing at Adobe.1

Customers feel more emotional attachment to and engage with brands when your why comes through. If people really understand your brand’s purpose, and it algins to their passions and needs, they will feel more connected. And it will impact your business.


How do you keep your brand’s why front and center? How will you evolve to ensure you meet the new needs of your customers? Our three Rs will help keep your brand close to heart in a remote world:

  1. Rethink how your brand values can offer hope

Do your brand values truly work in today’s environment? Is what you stand for relevant in a post-COVID situation? Can your current values take on a different meaning or be exhibited in new ways?

Ford found a way to uniquely live their values (or “truths”)—“put people first” and “do the right thing”—by leveraging their manufacturing facilities to address the real needs of medical supplies during COVID. They created a video series that communicated the actions that backed up their values and served as a reminder of the brand’s commitment to purpose.

  1. Relook at your positioning to ensure it provides real meaning

Are there new ways you can reinforce where you fit in the minds of your customers? Are there new ways to communicate this through new services or support programs?

Deliveroo built its positioning around convenience well before the pandemic. When COVID-19 struck, they were the first food delivery service to offer contactless delivery. They used their positioning of convenience and reimagined it in a more relevant way. Other services have followed suit, cementing its position as a pioneer in food service with swift brand response.

  1. Reimagine how your why works for your customers and clearly articulate it

Is your purpose really coming through in this challenging environment? Is it helping to fill a tangible or emotional need? How can you do a better job of showcasing why your brand exists?

Many brands have shown their purpose beyond fresh campaigns and messages. Apple and Google made contact-tracing technology available to officials around the world to understand people’s behavior and to help us get back to a functioning society.

People seek calmness and clarity in trying times. And this last year has been exactly that. Brands with a composed voice and a clear purpose will earn engagement, loyalty, and be remembered through the highs and lows. Elevating your brand’s why will ensure your customers feel connected to you and your purpose.