As a brand, navigating re-opening and re-closing—and potentially doing this repeatedly—can be a lot. Smart and thoughtful communication will ensure your customers understand what to expect, your employees know how to deliver and your brand is ready for the next step at the right time.

Get the strategic platform that delivers clarity and confidence for your audience in the new normal — these steps and questions are your head start.

  1. Examine your brand purpose and values
    Challenges define a brand’s character. How did your brand’s purpose gain new meaning in light of this crisis? How did your values determine your actions? What, if anything, would you change?
  2. Articulate the plan for where you’re taking your brand next
    From the way we travel to the how we communicate, sameness is not an option — and all brands should expect to change and evolve with the rest of the world. How will your brand lead that change? How can you apply your existing strengths to the world’s new challenges?
  3. Study what others are saying in your space
    With so much uncertainty, it’s natural and easy to do what everyone else is doing. Strengthening your purpose, values, and plan will clarify what you need to do differently from your peers. What would be “safe” for your brand to do? What would take courage and make you stand apart?
  4. Craft a set of key transition messages
    As you transition into your brand’s next phase, what are the three most important things you want all your audiences to know? Make sure everyone is aligned on the what, how, and why of your brand’s transition, so your external and internal audiences have a clear, consistent understanding of who you are and what to expect from you in this moment — and all the ones ahead.
  5. Prepare your “pause” button
    Just because you press “go” on communicating your transition, doesn’t mean you — or the world — are committed to one course of action. Ask how you’ll know your employees and customers feel secure in your next phase. Build checkpoints and flexibility into your plan. And be okay with asking for patience and permission to recalibrate along the way — your audiences will appreciate the transparency.

You’ve defined new protocols and ordered new cleaning supplies. Make sure your communication is also ready so you can prepare your people to make the most of your return.

 

 

Sarah Grieb is Associate Director of Brand Communication on our West Coast team.