What’s the Right Message Post COVID-19?

April 22, 2020 | Messaging, Crisis Communication, Branding


By Marilyn Heywood Paige

For the last month, the only things your brand could say were the same things every other brand was saying. A friend sent me the video below that shows how every major brand made the same commercial regarding their response to the COVID-19 crisis.

Different Commercials But All The Same

The commercial starts with the same somber music, shows empty stadiums and streets, mentions how long the company has been in business, and asserts how the company has always been about taking care of people (or families). It continues that in these uncertain or challenging or unprecedented times though we are living apart, you can still stay connected because the brand is here for you. And we will all get through this. Together. Together. Together. We’ve heard it so many times it seems to be echoing now. 

Advertisers Played It Safe

At the time these commercials were put together, they were the only messages that were appropriate. Talking about your brand in any other way would be insensitive, and probably land you in a social media storm. For the first time in modern advertising history, it was better to be bland and blend in. 

What Should Businesses Say Now?

Now, the sand is shifting again and companies are planning their re-entry strategy. What is the right thing to say now? Everyone needs to get cash in the door but a big sales push will look gauche. How can you market your company effectively while still being sensitive to the current state of the country and your audience’s state of mind? Here are the three steps you need to take:

Three Critical Steps For Repositioning Your Brand

1. Conduct a brand audit.2. Assess the social climate and your customers’ state of mind.3. Shift your brand communications to reflect the new environment.

These three steps will help you position your brand in this new marketplace more effectively so that you don’t say the wrong things and alienate yourself from your audience and damage your reputation.


Smart companies will perform these steps several times over the next several months because the sands will continue to shift and the messages that work in May will likely not fit in August. 
You can watch a video replay of our webinar about re-positioning your messaging by clicking here or download our Relaunch Your Marketing Checklist.

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