I am a true believer that creative makes a difference for our brands. Strong creative requires direction, it needs a mission or else it is just pretty pictures, all sizzle but no steak. Challenges provide that direction, whether it is a business challenge or even an environmental challenge, like Covid-19.
Creativity can be a positive for us in times of crisis. Some of the strongest creative happens when things did not quite go as planned and we have had to adapt to change. It is the power of creative constraint, where our limited resources lead us to answers we would never have found in times of abundance.
We can see today’s environment as a creative deterrent and something to wait out or we can see possibility, an opportunity to reassure or quite possibly even get new consumers to notice us! Consumers are aware more than ever of the choices they make, which means there is more opportunity for them to consider something new.
Here are 3 steps you can take to strengthen & leverage creativity for your brand:
Be Brand Aware. Know where your brand stands with consumers right now. Brand perception is reality. Are you a trusted brand with your current consumers, or are they questioning the value you bring? Read your own ratings and reviews- what are they saying when you are not in the room? If consumers are not able to articulate your value, start here and learn why not, and what needs to change with your creative assets to help make that happen.
Stay Connected. Either tell consumers a new way to think about you and the benefits you bring or provide value by showing how you are helping to be part of the solution. We need to stay in their consideration set for whenever they are ready to engage. Social posts, email newsletters can be easy low-cost ways to do this.
Use Your Assets to Draw Attention Sensibly. Use your brand assets in new creative ways. When it's not business as usual a little unexpected is appropriate when used the right way. Several brands reinforced social distancing during the early days of the coronavirus through creative interpretation of their logos and messaging. While they had the best intention, a few like McDonald's Brazil were criticized for the move as it was seen as diminishing the severity of the pandemic and misaligned with the company's own sick leave policy.
Flash forward to 2022 where inflation has become the latest challenge for people to deal with. Domino's 20% off all online orders is intended to give customers some relief from skyrocketing prices and encouragement to treat themselves during a difficult time. They've also rewarded consumers with $3 tips for being their own delivery drivers (Source: Domino's Twitter).
Other brands like Outdoorsy and Fresh Thyme highlight their point of difference in the context of the current market landscape while reinforcing the positive experience and emotional value their products/services offer.
However you use your creative, make sure it feels true to your purpose, mission, and values- providing the authenticity and reassurance consumers are looking for during this time. There is a famous quote by Simon Sinek, “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it” and that could not be anymore true than right now.
The Brand Evaluator is a joint venture of independent brand builders – Michelle Thompson, BrandSpark Design LLC and Christine Sech, Brave Oak Brand Building LLC. We work with emerging businesses to help them clearly and meaningfully convey their organization’s value through brand building strategy, design and content that drives results.