In March 2020, brands across the globe fell silent. When brands did put out messaging, due either to inertia or carelessness, the effect was stilted. It was as if they were unaware of the reality going on around us. The world’s population was suddenly abandoning the streets, locking itself away at home. When this happened, TV advertisements with corporate offers, radio sponsorships quoting corporate slogans and even funny memes on corporate social media accounts all became meaningless. An entire network of content production, and the narrative surrounding it, evaporated almost overnight.
We have much to learn from the COVID-19 pandemic. All brands have learned their own lessons, but it has also confirmed many things we already knew, such as the fact that we are now in a post-digital age. Digitalization has infiltrated the daily lives of all those touched, forcing previously digitally illiterate organizations to incorporate these new elements out of necessity. This applies not only to work and business environments, but also to fields such as education and health, and even to interactions with loved ones.
Exponential technological growth acts as a highly efficient driving force, leaving no brand exempt from new communication and marketing challenges. For a narrative to succeed in this current moment, it must be fluid (but consistent), attractive (but reliable) and, above all, relevant to concrete, positive social impact (be it economic, social or environmental).
How to raise brand relevance on countless communication channels
This article discusses the third of the post-digital communication challenges we discussed when we introduced this series. After looking at the evolution toward brand activism and highlighting the importance of revealing opportunities, we now examine how to build narratives that can help brands raise their relevance in this “new normal.”