The Covid-19 pandemic has put numerous brands in a very difficult position and forced them to pivot their entire business model.
Multiple brands are transforming and reconsidering their positioning in response to the pandemic. They are redefining their media and marketing strategies for generating relevant, original, and responsible content and communicating it without appearing to be profiting from the crisis.
Communication is the key here.
Even while repositioning themselves brands need to stick close to their original brand personalities. Wandering away from their designated public image, which has gained them all the revenues, market shares and customers loyalty, can adversely affect the brand’s credibility.
Brand Personality is complex and is different from Brand Identity. It is more than a name, shape, logo or colour. It is actually more about emotions. Brand personality is a set of human characteristics that are attributed to a brand.
There are key five dimensions to brand personality-
- Sincerity- honest, down to earth, cheerful, family oriented (Bata, Cadbury, SBI)
- Excitement- daring, trendy, spirited (Pepsi, Lakme, Mountain Dew)
- Competence- reliable, intelligent, secure (IBM, Microsoft)
- Sophistication- beauty, charming, exclusive (Mercedes, Louis Vuitton, Tanishq)
- Ruggedness- bold, outdoorsy, daring, tough (Wrangler, Reebok, Woodland)
With time brands develop one or more combination of these dimensions which represents their nature. Partly because of marketers, partly because of how the consumers use the brand and partly because of who the consumers are that use these brands.
People get attracted to the brands with whose personality they most resonate with. This is why brand personality should be at the heart of all marketing strategies.
Creating a brand personality is the easy part, but consistently maintaining the brand’s personality throughout the changing market scenario is difficult. Consistency needs to be maintained as erratic steps taken to combat the crisis can backfire and even alienate the existing consumers. Actions taken by brands which are generally against their nature affects the creditability of the brands and it can also appear as insincere and opportunistic.
While there some brands who attempt to completely reinvent their public image, it’s observed to have rarely worked. It was their personality that attracted the target audience in the first place and bought those sales and value to the business.
Thus while adapting to the current crisis brands need to ensure that their new marketing strategies goes hand in hand with their existing brand personalities.