Thoughts on brand value during a crisis

Let’s talk “opportunity.”

I tell my clients that the long term value of brands and thought leadership comes into play during times of crisis. Well…crisis, anyone?

This is a time of eroded trust in the marketplace, but companies that raised the profile of their expertise and stood by their ideals can leverage their brand into a position of strength. From firms that work from this perspective, I hear the mildly surprised refrain, “You know, we’re actually winning business right now.”

I’m less surprised: this is what brand development is all about. These are professional services firms that are positioned to excel in a time of uncertainty.

There are a few simple ways to make the most of the opportunity:

  1. Speak inward

    Employees and current clients get more anxious with daily fear-inspiring headlines (how about this gem from normally even-keeled BusinessWeek: “The Coming Pink Slip Epidemic“). There is no question difficult times are ahead, but firms that have a sound message and any good news should not hesitate to communicate it to their databases. This reminds them that you are in control of your business, and it inspires some level of confidence that a) they are riding the right horse and b) this difficult time is finite, and it can and will be navigated successfully by smart, capable providers.

  2. Speak outward

    I’ve written before that there is opportunity for thought leaders in turmoil. Prospective clients are looking for experts they can trust to educate them, guide them, and be the provider that helps them through this situation. Your marketing engine should deliver that insight through white papers, articles, media commentary, blogs…the right delivery can go a long way to further solidifying your position.

  3. Stick to your program

    The next generation of leaders will be born out of this mess. To help ensure that you’re one of them, keep setting goals, keep your trust level high and keep your expertise visible.

This is an historic time that will, at some point, be over. When the economy sheds its skin and emerges anew, clients will be no less thankful for your guidance, and employees will be no less grateful for your strength.


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