How Coronavirus discovered a side of brands we didn’t know!

The Coronavirus crisis has taught us many things we didn’t know; we are less powerful and in control of our circumstances than we thought, all mankind is truly connected and closer than we expected, our health systems weren’t as strong as we claimed, ….and companies and brands have demonstrated they do much more than offer great products or services.

With politicians across the world questioned for what have been very difficult decisions in face of the unexpected, brands have, in many instances, demonstrated a level of commitment to society, efficiency and generosity that will be hard to forget for many of us. Not only have companies donated millions, they have put their competitive advantages and know-how at the service of society; we have seen how top logistic firms and airlines have supported governments carrying people and materials across the world, we have witnessed how big technological companies have increased data availability to facilitate remote work, big luxury tycoons or spirits producers have reshuffled their factories to produce hydroalcoholic gels, car companies have manufactured ventilators and so on.

A brand new role

Nothing unites as much as a common enemy, and this joint battle in which companies and brands have taken a big step forward to fight by our side, has changed substantially, not only our relationship with these brands, but also our expectation towards them.  Consumers are feeling closer to these brands than before and are turning to them for the security they do not find on other institutions. Great corporations have demonstrated what a big role they can play to help us in our societies and personal lives. Now that we know that, we expect them to continue treating us as people, not only as consumers, sharing our values and vision of the world.

Brands are therefore, becoming much more than the guarantee of great products and services; they are becoming more and more involved with the societies in which they operate and have turned into a moral referent that guides people (consumers) into what is right or wrong. We are seeing this brand behavior materialize beyond Covid, in how brands have reacted towards big social movements like Black lives Matter for instance, or in their increased commitment with gender equality  now that we have just celebrated LGBTIQ pride; we are also seeing top advertisers banning Facebook’s because of how it handles misinformation and hate speech. Brands have realized they have big power and are using that power.

Covid has helped brands show us how important they can be for us and what a big role they can play in our lives. We expect a lot of you, brands, don’t let us down!

We expect a lot of you, brands, don’t let us down!

Alicia García López
Alicia García López is a specialist in Brand Management and Innovation. In a leading director positions, she worked for Procter & Gamble, The Coca-Cola company and Diageo.