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Advertising During A Pandemic – Your Brand on Purpose

Advertising During A Pandemic – Your Brand on Purpose

It’s said that adversity doesn’t build character but rather reveals it. During the COVID-19 pandemic, adversity has revealed the character of organizations and the fundamental importance of purpose.

Companies that have a clear understanding of why they exist can make better decisions about which actions to prioritize at any given moment. That’s particularly valuable in a crisis. When purpose can help an organization determine its role, its leaders can map out the road ahead and demonstrate authenticity to its customers.

Being away from the office during the pandemic has given some of us an opportunity to zoom out (no pun intended) and look upon the landscape of businesses both large and small. We’re noticing the importance of purpose and finding it to be at the core of moving us forward.

Being an organization that’s purpose-driven pays off.

Consider this: A recent study of social media users found that 62% of U.S. respondents believe that brands should continue to advertise during the crisis, and 75% feel more positively about brands that are making an effort to support society. The latter isn’t surprising if you’re already aware that many consumers choose their favorite brands based more on why (purpose choice) than what (product choices).

In fact, we looked at this type of consumer behavior and its effect on business in an earlier blog post.

Is your purpose human-centric?

If your purpose is focused on your customers, they will be more inclined to stick with you during this unprecedented journey. Brands that stay focused on how they can help are the ones doing it right. Knowing your purpose makes it more evident where any organization can be authentic in meeting a human need.

A brand that is doing it right despite daily shifts and constant uncertainty becoming the new normal is Tito’s Vodka in Austin, Texas. They still make vodka in small batches and taste-test every batch, but they also found a way to help.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, they’ve been producing and donating hand sanitizer to essential frontline workers and organizations. So far, they’ve donated to over 500 organizations in Central Texas, and to 25 states and counting.

Can your brand adapt to advertising during a pandemic?

For many, needs are changing or at least becoming more visible. So, brands must be agile in their responses. Purpose plays a role in that, too.

Agility helps organizations react nimbly to unprecedented circumstances like the pandemic. What does that mean in practice? It means pivoting quickly, communicating meaningfully and transparently, and finding areas of opportunity that fit an organization’s purpose. Cloudbed did.

The online hotel property management platform, among other things, helps hoteliers fill beds. Just days before news of the pandemic, the company received a large investment. They have continued to build their business, but they are also investing in the greater good. Now, the company is using its staff — and its lengthy list of hotel customers — to help find available rooms and beds for COVID-19 patients.

There’s an infamous phrase that says, “[stuff] happens.” Well, in times of crisis, innovation happens. And when you know your purpose and others do, too, you’re already a step closer to a better future.