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Do Brand Values Resonate During COVID-19? - by James Kerley



We recently had the opportunity to sponsor a thought-provoking whitepaper with the Carpenter Group on this question, in the context of "new considerations for insurance companies during a crisis."


It addresses topics such as the opportunity to change the message, insurers' response, putting a slogan into practice, from survival to growth, and the digital future. I have posted the paper's Introduction below as a preview. Please reach out to me if you would like a copy of the full report.

INTRODUCTION: Businesses today must face two existential questions: How do we survive? And how do we stay connected to our markets?


No industry is off the hook, but for insurance companies in particular, connecting with consumers has historically been a complicated challenge. Now is the time they must find ways to secure that bond and align their brand values to a shifting consumer psyche. The fact is, consumers are paying closer attention to brands, more than ever before, giving rise to a new kind of advertising and communications—one that avoids hard- sell and speaks to what’s really on people’s minds. In March 2020, a 12-country survey by Edelman found that consumers want to hear from brands during a crisis, but what they want are comforting, straight-talking messages that lay out the steps brands are taking to deal with the crisis. A key takeaway for businesses is to put solutions before sales, given that 89% of those surveyed want brands to produce goods that help meet pandemic-related challenges, as well as offer free or discounted products to healthcare workers, vulnerable groups and unemployed workers.


Consumers view their chosen brands as trusted partners and rely on them for information about how the crisis is affecting their companies, employees, products and services. “Brands should try to avoid communications that cause anxiety and concern about the crisis without offering solutions and hope to their consumers,” notes Harvard Business Review. “And brands should keep their consumers fully informed about how to continue to gain access to their products and services during the crisis, particularly for those deemed mission critical.” (Source: https://hbswk.hbs.edu/item/what-customers-need-to-hear-from-you-during-the-covid-crisis)

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