How Brands Can Stay Woke in Crisis

How Brands Can Stay Woke in Epidemics
Personal Branding Podcast

How Brands Can Stay Woke in Crisis

How Brands Can Stay Woke in Epidemics 

“To have your brand deep-rooted in the hearts of clients & customers requires empathy – humanize your brand” – Bernard Kelvin Clive

Life happens! Life is filled with the unaccepted, regardless of how carefully and practically you plan, sometimes things may just go off unannounced and unexpected. What you do in times like that is as relevant as your plan.

In the wake of the current alarming epidemic, a number of brands have suffered losses and others are making gains, however, it’s not about win or lose. Yes, whatever the case some may win others may lose but exceptional brands that care for its people will be looking at staying relevant but not just cashing in for profit.

Today, let’s consider ways brands can stay relevant and make impact and continuously stay top of mind. I have identified 3 main ways brands can drive change regardless of ongoing cultural or global crisis. 

The very first thing brands can do is to prepare for the unexpected; have precautionary plans, anticipate likely mishaps and develop strategies to handle that. If these steps are taken care of, it reduces the shock and likely negative impact of the unforeseen and unexpected 

Here are the three main things you can do to salvage the situation:


The good old book has these wise words to govern us, it reads “…Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak…” – James 1:17. In times of pandemics, brands must put on their best listening ears, to gather all they can before they take any other steps.

 The first most important step to take towards resolving crisis is to get all the needed information at hand. Ask all the necessary questions regarding the current happenings to understand the situation. Now, with enough data, you would be in the best position to handle it and address it right.  The caveat is that in a digital era, it’s easy to sample data on social media, which may not be accurate, so always verify source, get to root for authentic messages. Once you have the needed information, you are in a good position to align that with your strategic plan to help curb the situation. You prepare and plan on how to use the information gathered effectively. 


People love to identify with those they love and those who show them love. Great brands are people-centered, they show care and support. To move men to take action in areas you desire requires you to touch their hearts. 

In times of crisis and pandemics, people get affected in many ways; which in one way or the other may impact your brand. Yes, you may not have anything directly to do with them. The truth is that we are in a connected world, what affects one, may eventual affect the other. If not directly, its consequences may be damaging. The best way to get your brand out there is to identify with those affected, show care, love and support. Let them know they matter.

You don’t just stop at sympathizing with them you go out to help. You offer support in many ways that you can. At the heart of crisis, people need support not brands making loud noises about their products and services or trying to cash in by selling their brands. Great brands give, you may decide to offer massive discount, free gifts and offers etc. You should consider these acts as an investment of your brand in the lives of people. It may cost you a lot but its potential returns are huge. Your brand will be engrained in their hearts as a caring brand and if they want to do business or recommended a product or service, surely yours would come highly recommended. 

I recall one act that Nestle (GH)Ltd, did for its distributors/retailors during the erratic power outages (Dumsor) in Ghana(Accra); they gave out high quality solar powered lamps out for free. These little acts meant a lot to their distributors and retailers; which is still been talked about by some of them. One little act of empathy and support can greatly affect a brand. 

What is your brand doing for others now in the midst of global economic crisis and pandemics? You may be at the losing end but you can still offer some support, it could be in kind.

A kind word, well spoken; a press release; social media posts of encouragement, care and concern.

You have no idea how these little deeds can mean a lot to clients and customers.

“No one cares how much you know, until they know how much you care” —Theodore Roosevelt 


Never stop learning; information empowers! In times of crisis, to stay on top of your game and remain relevant demands some education. Education here is in two ways, firstly educate yourself, your brand and firm about the current situation. An uninformed staff can cause more damage to your brand. No staff should be left out, even if it’s totally unrelated to what they do. Secondly, educate the general public, clients and customers. It will interest you to know that a number of them are totally ignorant and at risk of deception by the masses. Make it a point to share useful resources to help clients and customers understand the current situation and what they can do about it.

If you have an online presence, post relevant information about the situation; you could use infographics, videos, podcasts, images etc. You share these content in addition to your brands digital strategies. One shouldn’t override the other. A balanced approach is needed during the educational process. You are giving something to the public and you are subtly promoting your brand. 

Key take home for brands is this: in times of crisis, evaluate the situation, empathize with clients and educate them. If you blend these things effectively your brand would stay top of mind.


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Bernard Kelvin Clive is an Author, Speaker and Corporate Trainer. Africa’s foremost author(ity) on Personal Branding. An Amazon bestselling author of over 40 published books. As a speaker & trainer he has been known to simplify complex ideas about branding and life and present them to audiences in clear, actionable steps. He has over a decade experience in digital publishing and has globally consulted for entrepreneurs, pastors, and people like you to write books and build brands. He hosts the number one ranked Career & Business Podcast in Ghana. Bernard is a brand strategist at BKC consulting and runs the monthly Branding & Publishing Masterclass.

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