Branding when the world is Burning: 5 steps to fireproof your brand during crisis
With the last week’s terrorist attack, I’ve been thinking very much about how brand can show their sorrow and compassion without coming across opportunistic and sales-obssessed.
For that I came up with 5 steps:
1) Identify the players of the crisis
The main scary aspect of a terrorist attack is the lack of knowledge, which causes despair. For a brand to be able to navigate it is important to understand all the players as soon as possibles. Identify the perpetrators, the victims, the possible causes and consequences. By doing this, it will create clarity on how to move to the second step.
2) Do not claim a position without having a clear judgement
Several brands have a quickness to judge situations in order to gain traction from them. Mos to time, it backfires on them one way or another. Don’t judge situations, people or ethnicities. If you do, it might cause some polemic but damage you on the long run. Show constructive and compassionate actions, not attention-grabbing stunts or prejudiced comments.
3) Compare your values with what is constituting fear.
Usually during these events, the cause of the fear is really clear. Most of times is fear for safety, the short future and well-being of loved ones. It can progress further into other areas, but usually it is either a progression or a side development of these. Understand what your brand stands for and just pronounce yourself in a way that what you’re saying comes across as legit and honest, both with the audience and with the identity of your brand.
What are the coming risks in taking a stance in this moment? Is it worth the effort in terms of long-term perception of the brand. Taking a stance can bring all kinds of consequences an success is always an exercise of calculating the risks. Be bold but also be conscious.
5) Take action - and be aware of the consequences
If everything above leads you to the decision of taking action, do it and do it well! Stick to your position and be open to apologise or change course as well if necessary.
And remember: as Brand, lead your emotions, don’t let your emotions lead you.