One Man Brand’s Covid Chronicles – The importance of holding steady

Here at One Man Brand we’ve always been about finding ways to help small mom-and-pop businesses – of which there are 5.9 million in North America – in their quest to thrive and serve as many people as possible. That mission has become even more important since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Each day brings new challenges in the current environment.

That means the old reliable business practices and marketing plans have been rendered mostly ineffective, and it will take some new thinking and action to reach customers whose lives have similarly been upended.

In the spring as the virus first started to spread we were swamped with inquiries from existing and prospective customers wanting to know what to do. Our answers varied in some cases because we’re involved in several different industries but one universal truth was the need to put the customer first. By letting existing customers know what steps were being taken to operate safely, companies had the chance to initiate dialogue and reinforce the critical mission statements that first brought them in the door.

In some cases that meant the public was getting bombarded by random emails from businesses they hadn’t interacted with in years, but it was an important move to make in the midst of a first-ever happening. In the end taking that step in the name of transparency helps a brand make itself known as a good actor, and one that is sailing through the same choppy waters as everyone else.

Some entrepreneurs considered offering discounts to frontline medical staff and other first responders involved with treating those infected with the virus, as a show of appreciation for their hard work. While we recognized the good intention behind that kind of a move our recommendation was to stay away from it because of the possibility it could seem tone deaf and create the perception of capitalizing on a public health crisis.

Instead we advised them to operate with their employees’ and customers’ safety as their first priority, and communicating that preparedness whenever appropriate. Projecting that sturdy and steadfast behavior in times like these is the best thing most companies can do to protect their brand.