In times of crisis, the best brands and organizations aggressively pursue new and innovative ideas and solutions. It is an opportunity for brands to put their best foot forward, practice their highest values, and communicate with consumers in an honest and ethical way that instills trust and credibility.
Back in the “Mad Men” era of brand management, it was far simpler for brands to be distinctive and to be indispensable in customers’ eyes. For starters, there were fewer competitors, brands, and product or service offerings in most categories and industries. For that matter, there were even fewer categories and industries. To no one’s surprise, in a world with fewer alternatives, it was significantly easier for any brand to be distinctive from all others.
Consumers increasingly expect more from today’s brands, and the implications of falling from the top spots in a category can be substantial. Beyond merely transacting, brands need to form an emotional connection with customers. Technological advances in general—and the internet and social media in particular—have made it easier than ever for brands to form meaningful relationships with customers.