Why brand is important in times of change

At the moment, business and marketing leaders are facing multiple challenges, all at the same time.

  • rising costs, declining profitability
  • inflation decreasing demand
  • hybrid working becoming the norm
  • the acceleration of AI
  • world events and political change
  • internal changes that disrupt plans

So, when all this is going on, what part does brand play in helping you weather the storm?


1. Strong Brand Enables Strong Leadership

Strong leaders need strong brands. But strong brands also need strong leaders. For a good leader the brand is the touchstone that helps them make the right decision as they navigate internal and external changes.

The example of Airbnb is instructive.

Faced with the loss of 80% of their revenue and 25% of their workforce at the start of Covid, CEO Brian Chesky doubled down on their brand values.

He explains, ‘In a crisis, you make principled decisions, not business decisions.’



He prioritized looking after people. The company persevered and within twelve months saw its valuation reach over $100bn post IPO.

Brand is a helpful guide when everything else is in flux because it cuts to the heart of your organisation.

Are you facing internal and external challenges that seem difficult to navigate? It may help to go back to the core of your brand and understand what’s important:

  • are you clear on what your business stands for?
  • when the chips are down, what really matters?
  • what is the world you are trying to create?


2. Strong Brand Boosts Employee Morale

According to the 2021 Porter Novelli Purpose Perception Study, when companies lead with purpose employees are:

  • 78% more likely to want to work for that company
  • 76% more likely to trust that company
  • 72% more likely to be loyal to that company
  • 70% more likely to defend that company if someone spoke badly of it
  • 72% more likely to forgive that company if it makes a misstep

In summary, when employees identify with and believe in the brand, they are more likely to feel a sense of purpose and commitment, which is crucial during periods of change.

Even if difficult short-term decisions need to be made:

  • are you framing these within the purpose and long-term aims of the organisation?
  • are you still living the values which apply in both good times and bad?


3. Brand Helps You Communicate Clearly

Clear and consistent communication is essential for bringing internal and external stakeholders along with you on the journey.

It helps shape the narrative and tell the story in a way that gets buy-in.

To do this, ensure that internal and external stakeholders understand the reasons behind the changes while restating the organisation’s vision for the future with confidence.

If you need to communicate change:

  • root it in the reality of the day and the long-term strategy
  • remain human throughout


4. Strong Brand Enables Differentiation in the Market

In a dynamic marketplace, a strong brand will help you stand out from your competitors.

This is the time to double down your efforts to explain your unique value proposition, making it easier for customers to choose your company over alternatives. It’s not time to be shy.

This is one of the key differences between brand and the common understanding of branding. Without a strategic approach to brand, your branding (the tactical execution of the brand) fails to be distinct.

  • are you clear on what makes you different and better?
  • are you seizing every opportunity to be seen and understood?


5. Brand Attracts Top Talent

During periods of change, having a strong employer brand can help you retain your existing people and attract other top talent.

In simple terms, the best people want to work for the best companies where they feel they will be valued and can make a difference.

  • are you clear on what motivates and inspires your people?
  • are you shaping a culture that empowers people to succeed?


A strong brand can provide stability and confidence during times of change

Perhaps the real test of whether you have a strong brand or not is how it performs in times of change.

Right now, it’s vital that your brand is seen as a valuable asset by your leaders, helping them make the right decisions, keep their people motivated, communicate their value, differentiate themselves from the competition and recruit and retain the best talent.

As the world shows no signs of becoming simpler and more predictable, and rather appears to be increasingly complex and dynamic, brand has never been more important.


About rbl

Is your brand helping your organisation move towards it’s goals, despite challenges and uncertainty?

Discover the true health of your current brand and uncover insights to take your organisation forward. Find a unique brand VOICE that will better engage your employees, customers, partners and more. Create content, campaigns, and communications to cut through and change the way people think, act and feel.

To discuss, please call Karen Newbold our Director of Growth on 01926 678368 or email her  here.

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