Adam Katz On Brand Management During COVID-19

Adam Katz Google

September 14, 2020

Adam Katz

COVID-19 has changed the way we manage all aspects of our lives, including our brands. A Bynder survey of 300 creative professionals found that the development of new messaging around COVID-19 is an important priority now. The message to deliver is that your brand is listening and being empathetic to customer needs, says Creative Director Adam Katz.

Listening to what your audience is saying has always been a key brand strategy, but it has become critical now to avoid tone-deaf missteps, says Adam Katz. Companies should listen on social media, customer service interviews, and contacts between sales staff, and engage with their audience in helpful formats and interactions. They should reach out to customers through all mediums to discover their feelings and needs. Customers value brands that demonstrate authenticity, connection, and humanity now, says Adam Katz.

Once brands know what their customers need, they should adapt to provide solutions to meet their needs to create brand equity, says Adam Katz. For example, an automobile manufacturer might offer programs that allow furloughed workers to buy cars with deferred payments.

Posting an empathetic, forward-looking statement on social media and the web site is also a good idea. The statement should be original and specific to customer needs, not just a copycat of what other companies have posted. For example, a grocer might indicate that the store is well-prepared and restocking shelves, the customers shouldn’t panic, and should buy what they need for preparedness without stockpiling. Another example is Denny’s, which typically tweets light-hearted comments. The company recently effectively stepped out of that persona to post a safety message from its CEO, says Adam Katz.

Companies also need to be sure they are making the safety of their employees a priority. Employees are the face of the brand. If employees are unhappy or afraid, they won’t provide the service associated with the brand, says Adam Katz. Treating employees well also can lead to good press. In a time when consumers value kindness, media coverage that indicates a company may lack compassion toward employees can seriously damage the brand reputation, says Adam Katz.

In this time of rapid change, brands also should rethink the channels they use. Brands that have previously relied on in-person selling, event sponsorships, or mass transit advertising will need to switch to digital media, says Adam Katz.
Adam Katz is a New York-based creative director and designer who specializes in developing new ideas and new brands, helping companies build and evolve.