Examples of how brands are shifting their message

+ Examples of how brands are shifting their message


Writer: Brad Ward

Graphic design with black and white horizontal arrows and lyrics on orange background

Businesses all over the world are facing tremendous changes as a result of coronavirus.

With extended lockdown orders, the way businesses deliver products and services has changed. And even still, brands are finding new ways to resonate with their customers by shifting their messaging. Now more than ever, businesses must create meaningful ways to show up for their customers. Here’s how brands, big and small, have shifted their messaging and ways you can do the same.

Know Your Brand

This is the time to understand your brand and how it can have an impact in people’s lives. Let’s take apparel company, Carhartt, and its shift to produce masks and gowns for frontline workers. This move instills the Carhartt brand in a deeper way, “This kind of fight is in our heritage, having produced for the frontline during two World Wars”. Or when the Museum of Modern Art offers free online courses through Coursera.

Whether your brand is an essential or non-essential service, you can use your unique positioning to help during this time of crisis, whether that’s bringing peace of mind to a working parent or offering helpful tools to support a specific demographic.

Adjust your tone of voice

It may be time to readjust what your brand’s tone of voice sounds like. Sarcasm might’ve set you apart before the worldwide pandemic, but now, empathy, compassion, and understanding go a longer way.

That’s not the only tone that brands can adhere to–humor might work well for people who need a distraction and some light-hearted fun in the midst of fear. It’s helpful to note that brands should be much more sensitive about the type of language they use. Avoid words that are triggering and alarmist — for example, avoid an email for an “URGENT sneaker sale.” At the heart of adjusting the tone in your messaging, listen to what people, or more specifically, your audience are saying, and adjust your message to fill that “gap” or “need.”

Change your strategy

Going hand-in-hand with adjusting your tone could be shifting your brand’s strategy and messaging. For example, Nike has taken this time to get people to workout in their homes, promoting physical and mental well-being when it’s needed most.

Nike has done this by offering the premium version of Nike Training Club for free, giving people easier access to these at-home workouts. Not only that, Nike has expanded its digital strategy to highlight people that are working out in their homes. The company goes beyond at-home workouts by making sure that it highlights and keeps its community together worldwide.

Let your creativity shine

Even with restrictions, brands are allowing creativity to take charge, highlighting social distancing and togetherness. By turning to your community to share user generated content you can create a sense of connection. Jack Daniels put together an advertisement celebrating community and all the ways that people are staying connected through virtual platforms like Zoom and FaceTime.

Highlighted are people playing chess over Zoom, tic-tac-toe on opposing sides of a glass door, people having a glass of whiskey while chatting over Zoom, and many other virtual activities.

Suffice to say, even under a lockdown, brands are finding ways to connect with their community and promote physical and mental well-being, whether that be through exercise, through a feel-good video, or as a listening ear to their audience.

At Pastilla, we’re implementing these best practices and helping brands do the same. We are offering a complimentary consultation in our Brand Therapy program for businesses of all shapes and sizes. How can your business adapt during this unprecedented time? You can learn more here.