By Sam Christopher Lim
7 Tips on How to Make Your Brand Meaningful in the Post-Pandemic World
As a business owner, have you ever wondered how you can make your brand even more relevant, attractive, and meaningful now and after the pandemic? Does it ever occur to you that the post-pandemic world could present an entirely different business landscape from what you know or gotten used to in the past?
These questions were extensively answered during the plenary session of Jos Ortega, Chairman and CEO of Havas Ortega Group, during the Franchise Asia Philippines Virtual Conference 2021. Ortega shared his insights through a presentation titled “Meaningful Brands in the Post-Pandemic World” and discussed how brands can become meaningful today and after the pandemic.
1.) Build the trust of your customers and partners
Ortega said that “trust is the post-pandemic currency.” More and more consumers are looking for brands that they could trust and rely on, whether they’re in the food, retail, service, technology, or other business sectors. This trend is foreseen to escalate more in the post-pandemic world.
What’s important is to always be transparent in all your business’s operations, systems, products, and services. According to Ortega, only 36 percent of consumers feel satisfied with companies’ or brands’ concrete actions to make the world a better place and only 34 percent of consumers think companies and brands are transparent about their commitments and promises. Indeed, trust and transparency are very important since consumers are actually aware of your actions.
2.) Shift from personal and functional benefits to collective benefits
Pre-pandemic, consumers subscribed to brands that give them personal and functional benefits through their products and services. Personal benefits such as easier life, peace of mind, life satisfaction, having to show-off/pride, and a happier state as well as functional benefits such as quality products, delivery, safety and responsibility, fair prices, and leadership were the top priority of consumers before the pandemic hit.
However, nowadays, consumers’ priorities have shifted. They are now more into brands that offer collective benefits such as transparency, ethics, economic benefits, being a good employer, and job generation.
“Surprisingly, Filipino consumers are now demanding for more collective benefits,” according to Ortega. These collective benefits pertain to the brand’s expertise to solve COVID-19, transparency and honesty, support to people who lost their jobs, values and protection for people, improvement of QOL post-COVID, and ways of helping the country through the crisis.
These collective benefits can be attributed to the UN Sustainable Development Goals which include poverty, food waste and food security, healthy lives, education, women’s rights, sustainable energy, economic benefits, jobs, sustainable innovations, anti-racism, development, clean supply chain, climate change, environmental conservation, and ethical data protection.
If you want your brand to become more meaningful, why not shift your perspective and give more focus to the collective benefits of your products and services?
3.) Focus on what matters most
What does your brand offer? Is your brand focused on what really matters to you and your customers? “Brands should focus on what is most authentic to them,” Ortega said. “Building a better world starts at home.”
If you are in the food business, you should also look at how your brand can contribute to zero hunger, better consumption and production, and industry, innovation, and infrastructure. If you are in the healthcare business, good health and well-being and decent work and economic growth are some of the goals that you should ponder on.
Whether your business is into food, transport, healthcare, apparel, consumer electronics, or other sectors, there are various thing you can do in order to really focus on what matters most.
4.) Aim to decrease life’s stressors
People today are constantly exposed to different types of stressors: heavy traffic, COVID-19, anomalies in the government and other institutions, increasing prices of essential goods and services, pressure, family problems, depression, and financial problems are some of the major causes of stress for consumers.
Hence, what could make your brand more attractive and meaningful to consumers is your contribution and effort to decrease their stress. Does your brand make your customer’s life easier? Does it give them peace of mind and make them feel truly happy? Does it help them feel content in their daily lives? If so, then your brand is on the right track. If not, you can re-think your brand’s mission and include ways on how your brand can decrease life’s stressors.
5.) Value people, planet, and prosperity
Brands that value the social, environmental, and financial aspects of consumers’ lives are also becoming more and more relevant nowadays. People are social beings and brands that make them feel part of a group, help them share moments and experiences with others, and help them meet or connect with people are becoming stronger.
Moreover, brands that enable consumers to be more environmentally friendly and inspire them to make the world a better place are also in the spotlight today. Meanwhile, consumers are also seeking brands that help them save money and grow their wealth. These aspects or themes are bound to grow even more in the post-pandemic world due to their significant value and benefits.
6.) Listen to what Gen Z has to say
“Gen Z is an open-minded generation who seek individuality and don’t mind questioning society rules,” said Ortega. Since Gen Z are more likely to speak their minds and challenge traditional constructs, they crave brands that pique their interest and allow them to convey their individuality.
According to Ortega, 55 percent of consumers (who are Gen Z) are looking for differentiated products and services that allow them to express their individuality. This generation is specifically focused on reducing inequalities and therefore they value expression and inclusion the most.
Moreover, Gen Z seeks brands that contribute to resolving social issues and embracing diversity. The question now is, will your brand be approved and loved by Gen Z? Today and in the next coming years, Gen Z will influence the country’s buying power, so it is best to listen to what they have to say as early as now.
7.) Include ‘help’ content
Last but not least is to include ‘help’ content in your brand messages. According to Ortega, almost 50 percent of a brand’s content and messages are not meaningful to consumers. Only over half of the messages are delivered effectively and successfully.
So, how can you make your brand convey meaningful content? There are six roles of content that are very important to consumers. These are reward, inform, inspire, entertain, help, and educate. The previous roles of content that were most expected were reward and inspire.
However, during the pandemic, what truly strikes consumers’ attention is help content. Is your brand helping the community you belong to? Do you have programs, products, and services that help better the lives of consumers? Do you help in making the world a better place?
All these efforts will comprise your brand’s help content. Once you include this in your brand’s mission and messages, your brand will become more meaningful to the people, even in the post-pandemic world.
Franchise Asia Philippines 2021 is the largest franchise event in the country organized by the Philippine Franchise Association (PFA) and made possible with the support of BPI, PLDT Enterprise, InLife Health Care and more. Visit and subscribe to PFA’s Facebook Page for more franchise news and events.
Sam Christopher Lim is the CEO of Francorp Philippines; Co-author of 12 Strategies for Franchising; President of U-Franchise Sales & Management; Chairman for ASEAN Integration of the Philippine Franchise Association; and Chairman for ActionCOACH Philippines.