I have been inundated recently with invitations to join webinars offering guidance on how brands should behave in the new reality created by the coronavirus crisis.
Show empathy and offer support — those seem to be the primary pieces of guidance in all these sessions. Which explains why we all have email boxes brimming with basically the same message from every brand we have had even the slightest interaction with in the past:
“We’re here for you.”
Hey, it’s solid advice. Yet woefully inadequate if we stop there. After all, we have more to offer than we may realize. (And let’s face it. If we can’t figure out that we need to show empathy and offer support in these times, then we have bigger problems.)
What do you mean by we have more to offer?
Here’s the thing that’s easy to miss. Our brands’ most valuable offering is hope.
That’s right. Hope. Not the features we like to talk about. Not even the benefits that we tout. We may get people’s attention with those things. But it is hope that will make us beloved.
So how does a brand offer hope? It starts by understanding the deeper impact your brand can have. Beyond offering the ‘whitest whites’ or whatever it is we think our brands deliver. It has to be about the difference we can make in a life. Every brand has that special something (I call it a Big Audacious Meaning). It’s just a matter of taking the time to clarify it.
When we focus on the difference we can make, hope follows.
This is nothing new. Purpose-driven brands have already proven the power of this approach — both for the people they serve and their bottom line. And this happened pre-pandemic. Now we have an opportunity to follow a roadmap that they have laid out.
Let’s show empathy. Let’s offer support. But let’s also give people something that makes tomorrow brighter. And our brands meaningful. Let’s give them hope.
Dan is an expert brand strategist and author of the book Big Audacious Meaning — Unleashing Your Purpose-Driven Story. He is a founder at Will & Grail — a brand innovation company, helping organizations find their unique, undeniable and unshakable sense of purpose and create innovative experiences that bring it to life.
Originally published at https://www.dansalva.com on April 9, 2020.