January 25, 2021 by John Herrington in Strategy

In Yoga Pants We Trust

Brand building. Remember when this phrase felt like an unemployed, college sophomore in a trendy coffee shop? We would roll our eyes while he explained the importance of being relevant. Well, turns out he was onto something. The rhetoric behind your brand is either a deal maker or breaker. And if anything, the pandemic has certainly demystified the ethereal ideas behind brand identity and exposed its necessity.

BBDO Minneapolis released a short series on COVID-19’s effect on consumers. Aside from wanting TP in stock and preferring curbside pick-up, the customers remain incredibly clear on the value (or perceived value) of the brands they gravitate towards. 86% of consumers claim they see their preferred brands as an essential safety net during crisis. That’s quite a hefty responsibility projected on the retailer. To take it a step further, 84% say they want brands to show exactly how they can help people deal with pandemic related life challenges. Basically, the customer cares that the brand cares. 

But without a steady community behind your brand, proving you have heart is almost pointless. Household names and favorite labels have withstood the test of time- and a global pandemic along the way- because they’ve worked to establish a relationship with their consumer base. Think YETI, La Croix, Lululemon, Starbucks. We reach for the red omega or the beloved, caffeinated mermaid because we know them and we trust them.

Since the start of COVID-19, consumers have demonstrated a 23% increase in the number of brands they have an emotional connection with. That’s 23% more regulars and 23% more ‘go-to’ orders. Regardless of what industry you represent, the stakes are the same. The strength of your brand matters. This was true in 2019 and it’s really true in 2020 and beyond. The customer’s choice product or service is most often an expression of trust. Who can they depend on? Who can they believe? Who can they trust?

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