During a crisis, brand communication becomes more important than ever. Over the past few weeks, we’ve produced a series of useful content tips. Content to help marketing and commercial professionals working across the drug development supply chain to adapt tactics. We’ve covered the how (see our toolkit here) but what about the why?

Environmental changes require higher levels of corporate authenticity when communicating with stakeholders. How do you stay on brand but connect meaningfully with customers and stakeholders alike?

Well, here are five things to consider to come through the COVID-19 pandemic with a strong and meaningful brand reputation that will not only help your business survive, but help it thrive.

1. Responsibility

Your employer brand forms part of your overall brand strategy. What employees think of your business during times of change will influence future perceptions and interactions. Whether it’s reassurance with business performance or transparency if things aren’t going as planned, take responsibility and be transparent.

2. Clarity

With a global pandemic comes a great deal of uncertainty and shifts in human behaviour. In an industry filled with noise around Covid-19, ensure your brand communications provide clarity and transparency. If your business has had to make difficult decisions because of Covid-19, be clear on the reasons and what it means for your customers or employees. 

3. Flexibility

Within life sciences we’ve seen production line adaptations to help manufacture  in-demand supplies and companies offering their services free of charge to help combat Covid-19. These demonstrations of flexibility improve brand perception and encourage others to engage with your brand. Whether it’s offering flexibility with projects in the pipeline or helping employees to adapt to difficult working environments – be as flexible as possible and your brand will see the benefits post Covid-19.

4. Community

The introduction of social distancing and social isolation has left many people craving human connection and a sense of togetherness. Forward-thinking brands are now introducing initiatives designed to create a sense of community in a safe and positive way. Whether it’s hosting a virtual event or sending a thoughtful gift to a customer, host a community within your business. Our entire industry claims to be centered around the patient (along with the benefits certain therapeutics or drugs add to their lives). Let’s practice what we preach and be there for one another. 

5. Empathy

The emotional toll that the pandemic has and will have on people at a global level cannot be underestimated. At a time when people feel scared, frustrated and lonely, brands can play a genuine role in making people feel supported and understood. A number of brands are taking action to show their empathy. For example, in the UK many brands are providing services for free or at a discounted rate to National Health System [NHS] workers. Whether it’s being mindful when speaking to customers or providing extra support to employees, be empathetic and people will connect with your brand more than ever before.

Even after the pandemic has subsided, our memories of this unique and challenging time will remain. How brands act during this period will also be remembered.  Those businesses that take time to invest in a purposeful and compassionate brand strategy, will achieve the type of brand loyalty and advocacy that can last a lifetime.