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A timely dose of strategy, empathy and perspective > 5 tips for your brand during COVID

Posted on 04.15.20 by Spyglass

A Spyglass Brandstorm Outcome

Note: This article is part of our Circularity of Support series. My sincerest thanks to all who have taken part in the Circularity of Support. I am confident we will end up stronger, together. 

As we all look for ways to be of service in these extraordinary times, Spyglass is contributing to the Circularity of Support by proactively offering Brandstorms* to clients who could use insights and encouragement while they are focused on operational priorities. Last week we completed one for our non-profit client Lakewood Cemetery. Lakewood is the Twin Cities’ most beautiful and historic cemetery, and has spent the past 150 years consoling and caring for families during loss and creating amazing spaces for them to honor and remember their loved ones.

When your offerings become essential…

Suddenly, amidst the pandemic, Lakewood’s services are becoming more essential than ever – yet the ways they can support people are being massively constrained. Whether it’s the closure of their buildings, the ban on gatherings or the sudden uptick in interest and need, the way they serve and show up for families is being completely disrupted.

Hearing them describe these times in our weekly updates has been heartbreaking.

And while Lakewood has been diligently preparing to operationally handle whatever this pandemic brings, they also needed to be equally ready from a messaging, service and support perspective. And this is where we felt we could best help.

When you need perspective and a plan…

The Brandstorm for Lakewood delivered two key elements: 1) a framework of key messages and content they can use in multiple ways to articulate the situation and the challenges they are facing and what their families are feeling and dealing with; and 2) a list of prioritized and immediately-doable ideas for how they can best help families and the community. We are now mobilizing to help them get the word out and execute against an action plan. The value of this Brandstorm? A timely contribution of strategy, empathy and perspective.

5 Guidelines for Taking Action . . . 

  1. Stay true to your vision (this seems obvious, but too often organizations forget to use their vision as a guide to help them make decisions)
  2. Support those who need you most (identify the audiences who need your immediate help and support and stay laser-focused on them – both internal and external)
  3. Align on guiding principles so you can hyper-prioritize (you need a way to “judge” what will have the most impact, because not everything is doable or can stay urgent for very long)
  4. Decide and execute (make it happen – this may require efforts above-and-beyond what you are already doing that is above-and-beyond!)
  5. Establish a system to keep evolving, learning and responding (as simple as daily share-outs every morning)

What did Lakewood get from their Brandstorm?

Relief – Leadership could raise their gaze without taking their eyes off the critical issues in front of them, felt supported by our efforts and were reminded they have both the wisdom and resources to address this crisis head on.

Clarity – Getting outside perspective helped them crystallize the issues and needs that perhaps weren’t front and center on their own priority lists, and gave them a way to clearly talk about those issues and explain how they are addressing them.

Speed – Having a framework, sound thinking and an action plan saved precious time and jump-started their ability to be more proactive.

Every company is being disrupted by challenges right now. It is only through the help of each other — and the Circularity of Support — that we can get through these times with our organizations and humanity intact.

I’d love to hear more of your stories of assistance, given or received. And if your company needs a Brandstorm or some outside perspective, we are here.

– Molly Rice

*A Spyglass Brandstorm is a targeted, time-sensitive strategic assessment that’s shared with an organization’s top leaders to help them navigate brand positioning and marketing challenges during disruptive times.