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How Brands are Pivoting to Maintain Customer and Employee Connection During COVID-19

Facing a world dictated by a new normal, brands are now confronted with changes in the measure of success and how to get there. Brands are called to reevaluate their foundations, from their business models to how they create value. They must also define or refine their foundational meaning to drive brands forward as they seek to create or deepen connections with customers and employees.

Connected by Empathy

The new normal will bring a heightened sense of customer awareness and vulnerability. And when paired with a more contracted economy, it will require brands to double down on empathy. Brands will now have to work in close collaboration with customers, suppliers and employees to be more supportive, efficient and valuable. Ultimately, the new normal will shift from building audiences to building a connected community.

Out-Maneuvering the New Normal

Pivoting will become a core business capability. And it will also be a source of brand value and significance. Brands will be looking to extend laterally around existing business capabilities and to connect to evolving customer and cultural trends. One example is Spotify, which created an extension around curating the thousands of podcasts uploaded during the pandemic. The pivot recast Spotify as a leading tastemaker. Liquid had its own pivot as well; we created one-week modules to help companies solve business challenges in real-time, developed in response to the new economic realities of the global pandemic.

Social Justice Requires More from Brands

In addition to the pandemic, Black Lives Matter and other social justice movements around the world are changing the role of brands. Brand power will depend not only on differentiation and having a strong value proposition, but also on the brand’s ability to commit and connect at a deeper level with its purpose and what it stands for. Brands in the new normal will foster accountability, shared value and a new moral imagination rather than an instrumental relationship with consumers.

Dispatch X July Edition

Check out our curated a list of articles in our latest edition of Dispatch X that illustrate how brands are pivoting—read how Starbucks reexamined their U.S. stores and devised a new strategy that could capitalize on changing customer behavior and learn why now is the time for brands to reflect and how CMOs can lead.

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