Strategy and Sausages:
A British Strategic Planner in Germany
Wednesday, 27 May 2020
We're on the road to recovery. We're re-opening, re-setting, re-inventing, navigating the new, emerging at the other side, un-pausing the pause button, writing the post-COVID playbook, re-discovering and probably re-pivoting too.
The challenging times are far from over, though. At least, that's what the flurry of articles and webinars and thought pieces and workshops on what brands should be doing now, in this "recovery phase," would have you believe.
I do hope that we as marketers won't make the same mistake twice. Only a few of weeks ago, marketing managers all over the world noticed that their carefully thought-out and quickly pulled-together "we're here for you, we'll get through this together" commercial was exactly the same as the next one. Especially when the internet wags pointed it out to them.
The mistake was that people were so desperate to demonstrate empathy with what people were going through in lockdown that they forgot (or were too nervous of being insensitive) to show how their brand, services and products could play a role.
I hope that brand communication coming out now will see a return to lighthouse brands - or maybe in the mobile day-and-age, Searchlight Brands. Instead of vague expressions of empathy, a bolder statement of how your brand inspires how people might like to live tomorrow.
Of course advertising should be based on empathy, but an empathy that comes from the brand:
What does your brand do for people, and why?
What's unique about your product/s and service/s?
What is your brand's particular voice, attitude and way of seeing the world?
And the litmus test is always: could this piece of communication come from any other brand?
When I was little, I wanted to be a spy. I got off to a good start, studying Psychology at Trinity College, Cambridge but somehow got side-tracked into the wonderful world of advertising and marketing.
My children's books: