Post-corona brands: Why the time for humility and courage is now.
“Brands need humility. Now, at the very latest, they are having to work on literally good things. And can become a role model as a result.”
April 15, 2020
What is the moral of the story? That’s the question that is concerning me at the moment. Because what we are experiencing right now is too big to be considered small. The corona pandemic is shaking us to the core. Every single person, society, the economy. And of course brands.
At the moment, many companies and brands are still in the hanging on, sorting out, attending to their wounds, acting is if nothing is wrong phase. You could call it an illusion or business as usual. For while future researchers are describing tomorrow and beyond with a whole range of different scenarios, four insights stand out:
Social forms of behaviour will change. The relationship between technology and culture will shift. Sustainability and a “we” culture will be-come important values. And:
The question of the purpose of the economy will be posed to varying degrees – but it will be posed.
So our future has changed. What does this mean for brands? In my opinion, they need humility to be able to respond to the current challenges. They now have the chance to work on what is literally good: on their own corporate culture, the cooperative development of ideas, new work models, new remuneration systems and new definitions of success. On sustainable management. On their purpose.
Humility means “the willingness to accept something as given, to not complain about it and to see oneself as rather unimportant”. Four points, then:
Accept the facts. Roll up your sleeves. Say no to platitudes and selfish gestures. And say goodbye to perfection.
When we are reflecting with our clients on their brand’s risk and future competence at the moment, then the focus is on this quartet of attitudes.
How can you really be awake and be “there” now? As you have to ad-dress the world now. How do you meet existential needs for security and transparency empathetically? Engage in dialogue, establish cooperation. How can you take care of your team, your business partners and your customers? Try to identify the needs clearly and start thinking in terms of service-focused thinking. What do people really need from you, now and in the future? For it is probably high time to think about your mission and purpose. How can you offer current and long-term orientation? For this you have to be prepared to be a role model, in the truest sense, to be present. You have to be authentic, allow yourself to make mistakes in this exceptional situation and learn from them. As this is the only way you can develop and reposition yourself.
You could say: It’s time to put your cards on the table.
Honesty. Humility. Time for solidarity instead of selfish action. Time for focused subject communication. Goodbye to phlegmatism and looking towards the next quarter. Hello to movement and a vision for the future. Brand management is no longer conceivable without values that are actually practised. So what are yours?
By the way, humility in German – “Demut” – goes back to the Old High German “diomuoti”. The word “Mut” meaning courage was already in it then, as was the word “Sinn” for purpose. As if that’s not motivation enough: be courageous!