How to Build a Brand for the New World

Some Thoughts About What Lies Ahead

As fall approaches, the national mood and the global pandemic don’t seem to be improving anytime soon. The big questions we were collectively trying to answer back in the spring still don’t have answers. How can we prevent as many deaths as possible? How do we solve the widespread poverty, hunger, and despair caused by a fragile economy? What can we do about the social and racial injustices the COVID-19 crisis has both revealed and amplified?

At our Charlotte marketing agency, we’re hopeful the economists, politicians and scientists will solve the big pressing challenges our world faces, but as members of the creative class, it’s our responsibility to use design and storytelling to help create a safer, healthier, and more just society. And, by extension, help our clients figure out how to strike the right tone in these anxious times; as well as prepare for a post-pandemic marketplace.

Architects are busy developing safer materials and forms for common use and planning well-ventilated, open spaces that replace the hermetically sealed environments in which so many of us used to work, live, and play.

So what should designers, copywriters, and marketing managers be doing right now?

You don’t want to come across as insensitive or oblivious, but there are only so many times a brand can say “we’re here for you!” and have it sound genuine. While it’s important to acknowledge what’s happening now, our world has been fundamentally changed forever, which means your brand needs evolve as well.

Brands that feel more human and more closely aligned with people’s identities have an advantage now and moving forward. In B2C as well as B2B transactions, consumers are being more thoughtful about their purchases. People are seeking reassurance and familiarity amidst all this change and uncertainty, and are therefore more likely to spend money on brands that they feel a close connection with.

Consumers across the board are continuously getting smarter and more sophisticated, with increasingly more choice and control, and this is only going to be heightened post-Covid-19. Tolerance for anything that feels superficial or rings false will be at an all-time low, and brands will need to connect their marketing and messaging to genuine value propositions. It won’t be enough for brands to look different or talk different from their competition – they’ll need to challenge the status quo, surpass people’s expectations, and connect at an authentic, human level.

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