Brands and COVID-19

Markets changing, purchasing habits changing, target customer lifestyles changing…all leading to a rethinking of how a brand successfully navigates the pandemic in the short-term and beyond.  In some cases, sales or services have exceeded goals.  As reported in the July 2020 Harvard Business Review: Cosmetics online sales are reaching the 50% level; all things relating to upgrading the home environment are on the plus side; that includes moving to “top of the line” or more expensive products in a category; and golf is booming.

Some economists are projecting a “post-war/roaring 20’s” post pandemic, but it could take until 2022 or early 2023 due to the severe impact on the labor market.   In a recent Washington Post article, the 379,000 jobs added to the US economy in February 2021, was better than expected, but still not at the pre-pandemic level.  Still to come is the effect of the final Stimulus Package, that will aid the full recovery.  Restrictions on activities led Americans to spend less money, pushing savings rates to extraordinary heights. Consumers are being more cautious, concerned about the uncertainty and at the same time anxious and eager to move forward. 

So, what are brands doing to maintain their share of market, grow sales, keep customers connected and expand that base?  Understanding that many of the habits newly imposed as a result of the pandemic are here to stay, and at the same time still evolving.  Traditional media budgets have dropped some 30-40% as advertisers prioritized digital advertising and use of social media platforms and streaming in responding to this new consumer information and purchasing behavior.  The brand story…what is stands for, the promise it makes, is still the most relevant in the competitive environment.  Consumers are more aware, environmentally focused, and knowledgeable about safety needs, resulting in a major shift to online shopping.  This move has been highly favorable to direct response campaigns, those encouraging “quick purchase” and at the same time brand building.  Reports show brands have focused on “value base” marketing that builds a connect with consumer identities, while emphasizing the mission of the company.  In addition, brands have re-evaluated the language and imagery used in all advertising and marketing materials, and on social media in particular.  There’s more awareness of customer needs, how their daily lives have changed and how that defines the “new customer reality” of spending habits…how and why products and services are purchased and used.

BMF has been building and protecting brands locally, regionally, and nationally since 1926.  That includes developing a brand’s competitive positioning, as well as creative marketing strategies that gain target customers’ attention, engagement, and response, whatever the category.  We also believe that the changes in people’s media and consumption habits resulting from the pandemic, will force a rethinking of how to achieve these new brand-building goals.

How can we help you and your company stay competitive and fortify your brand to weather any storm? Contact Ron Thompson at