These past few weeks our agency has been consulting with a variety of industries from retail to senior living on unexpected ways to keep brands relevant during an epoch that could easily draw sectors of the business community into eternal panic or lingering lethargy. Frankly, we’re summoning our creative superpowers to ensure we do everything possible to help our clients stand out. We love brands which have demonstrated creative approaches: Fisher-Price’s First Responder Collection of action figures, Yeti’s “live streams” bringing natural brooks and streams to our screens and Jägermeister’s virtual charity brunch complete with cold brew cocktail lessons on Instagram Live to raise funds for Relief Opportunities for All Restaurants. These brands tapped into today’s psyche promoting their products without seeming opportunistic – in fact, they added to the conversation in a meaningful way.
There is plenty that can be accomplished, that needs to be accomplished, to keep companies moving forward in the face of adversity. But, it requires a new way of thinking, a creative mind shift. Here are a few observations from our own client work demonstrating there’s plenty brands can do :
Messaging: This has been a fertile time for organizations to declare how they are the “first, best or only” in their category and determine ways to remain iconic across holistic channels. Demonstrating brand promise in action has manifested in ways such as Mercedes-Benz USA’s Curbside Caring program which tapped local restaurants and repurposed its cafeteria to help feed first responders and thousands of Westside Atlanta families.
Content & ideation: We’ve been honored to work with the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation on its Audience Building Roundtable developing ways arts organizations can pivot in a challenging time. Creating a weekly webinar series that hundreds have attended, we explore how to take educational events, performances and galleries into the virtual universe because “the show must go on!”
Thought leadership: While COVID-19 has slowed much of the world, issues don’t stop. The dissemination of public information continues to be critical. One of our proudest moments, we conducted a public meeting with a regulatory agency and hundreds of people virtually. For North Highland Worldwide Consulting, a series of bylines provided guidance for the C-suite and human resources on how to navigate the employee experience post-pandemic. Clients also continue to clamor for op-eds, advertorials and native advertising.
Media relations & influencers: Journalists are still looking for news, especially good news. We shared the story of how the YMCA shuttered branches and reopened as daycare centers for first responders and essential workers garnering national and local attention. Stories of patients using telehealth showcased Cancer Treatment Centers of America, and we secured coverage with Entrepreneur for Deluxe highlighting strategies for small businesses in times of change.
Digital & social channels: Our Pinewood Forest client has used the time to introduce touchless tours, feature resident profiles and film lifestyle videos – even selling homes as a result.
Events & conferences: To keep people moving, Livable Buckhead launched buckheadWALKS!, a month-long challenge. Complete with an app integration with Wellable that monitors individual and team physical engagement, the group offers daily virtual activities tracking points scored for the ultimate team competition.
Partnerships & sponsorships: We added laughter and learning through the ultimate Zoom bomb. Unsuspecting participants in corporate meetings, family gatherings, online classes for school and more are treated to a surprise visit by various owls from the Teton Raptor Center’s avian ambassadors along with an educator from the group.
Internal Communications: Feature videos have been a way to keep our clients’ employees engaged – so have environmental games, safety sessions and explainer videos. We’ve developed several “Man on the Street” videos celebrating hobbies and personal milestones to share on clients’ internal blogs.
Difficult times call for superhero thinking. Use your X-ray vision to see things in a different way. Tap superpowers like speed and agility to continue to create winning opportunities. With the adoption of newer technologies and invigorated creativity, reaching the consumer, employees and other stakeholders has been transformed in unexpected ways. If you reframe your thinking, the opportunities are limitless.
Marketing and communications may never be the same as it was prior to this pandemic; it may just be better.