Brands Supporting Companies through Difficulties
2020.03.13 / Viewpoint
Brands Supporting Companies through A Difficult Time.
01 Known brands out of stock
The outbreak of the coronavirus has a great impact on the economy. Problems arise such as sales and profit decline or even loss, the decline in income, cash shortage, customer loss, supply chain instability, production discontinuity, rigid cost pressure, manpower shortage, centralized management difficulties and so on. Small and medium-sized enterprises are more affected by the epidemic because of their weak financial strength and anti-risk ability. Some of them may not even survive in the epidemic. If the impact of the epidemic is too long, it is expected that larger enterprises remain large, but many of the small and medium enterprises are forced to withdraw from the market. In particular, weak brands may not pass this test, and a strong brand that is well prepared can survive.
In the past month, I believe many people have a similar experience. When I turn on my smartphone and try to purchase disinfectant, disinfectant tissue, and other supplies as I regularly do, I find that not only the products that I always buy have been sold out, but also all the better-known brands. When I look at the unknown brands on my phone screen, although the product details also state similar features with the better-known brands, I’m still reluctant to buy them. Not just the anti-epidemic products, but also food and grocery online, I tend not to purchase brands that I have never heard of.
We are more cautious during this extraordinary period and want to makes sure we make the most reassuring choice during such time with fear full of unknown and uncertainty. But how can we identify high-quality products? At this time, you will find that "brand recognition" is the fastest way. Especially in days full of uncertainty, a familiar brand can reduce our risk factor in making the right choice, and bring a known sense of security.
02 The importance of brand trust.
For another example, at the end of 2019, while on a business trip to conduct a lecture, I turned on a phone app to order takeout after arriving the night before. The top two hotlists displayed in the app were McDonald and KFC. The rest were nearby unknown local shops, which directly implies that when people arrive in an unfamiliar environment, the focus of meal selection is a peace of mind and familiarity. So even fast-food restaurants that we usually don’t consider during normal days can become the first choice.
In our years as branding professionals, we often tell our clients that other than being creative, a true brand cannot be speculative and perfunctory. A brand is the sum of all experiences a client has for you. It's about creating unique values and trust. This is related to the user's emotion and attitude towards the brand as a whole when they interact with the brand at "different contact points". Brand recognition and expression is an important factor for consumers to identify and communicate when they make purchase decisions. Many entrepreneurs hoping for short term results think that a brand is just a logo, package or poster. They ignore the trust that exists in consumers' minds is something that requires lots of investment in time and energy to cultivating.
The epidemic has made people realize the importance of a brand. It allows brand designers to see their professional value, and visionary entrepreneurs to figure out the truth. As Ms. Zhang Miaoling, President of Yaming Tiandi Co., Ltd., a group company of Happy Lemon, mentioned in an interview in early March, a brand is an investment, not a cost!
Trust in a brand is like a bank saving account, where you have to keep depositing your savings to accumulate the loyalty and trust of your clients. It allows one to get through the difficult times more smoothly with consumer support and recovers much quicker during a setback.
To put it bluntly, a brand is like the immunity of an enterprise when it encounters an epidemic. Just like your health, it has never been within reach. It is mainly based on your daily healthcare routine. We have witnessed good brand equity in this epidemic, allowing enterprises to calmly face various challenges and opportunities in today's society full of frequent changes.
As Friedrich Nietzsche said, what doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger.