How to manage your brand through a crisis?

The current outbreak forces stores to close and brands to reinvent their strategy. Managing your brand in China is not natural and you might be lost in all the uncertainties for the coming months.

Seeing the outbreak as a challenge is the best way to get positive spillovers when the recovery period will arrive, but there are common mistakes you should not fall into!

That is why we want to share with you tips on DO and DON’T that will help you through the crisis, the recovery period, and the post-crisis period.

DO: Why is the crisis decisive for your business?

1. It reveals what your company is about

It is the perfect time to share your values and commitment to your customers. Your creativity will more than ever be noticed and it will directly impact your brand image. Maintaining a positive brand image through this period is essential for every brand.

Sharing meaningful and positive content to accompany people through the crisis is the most important thing: all their attention is focused on social networks and the digital world. Take advantage of it to develop their interest and loyalty.

Adjusting your content and channels online will allow you to reach a target that you maybe wouldn’t reach if the outbreak didn’t happen. That is why it is the perfect time to increase your visibility on social networks and commercial platforms.

2. Take everything into consideration

Consider both short-term and long-term impacts and decisions.

In the short run, you have to adapt to the situation: be present online, and reflect a positive image.

In the long run, you should consider what comes next. People will have a big need to socialize, hang out, spend money, and enjoy life! This is a 3-steps phenomenon: the outbreak period, the recovery period, and the post-crisis period(back to normal).

3. Think about the post-crisis period

A crisis is not eternal. Adapting is good, but did you think about the post-crisis period? You will have to adapt again since your consumers’ behavior will change again. How do you plan to bounce? Think about this question is vital if you don’t want to be forgotten by the consumers you won during the crisis period.

Indeed, their environment and behaviors will have changed after the crisis. Think about adaptation and create new needs and priorities for your consumers.

Redesigning your long-term plan by focusing on consumers’ behavior changes and post-crisis evolution will help you for recovery and back to normal periods.

4. Be an adapter

Adapting your decisions quickly is the key to getting through a crisis.

Finally, redefining your priorities is unavoidable if you want to successfully get out of the crisis. Digitalizing your presence, and creating new relationships with consumers, … This is how you can turn a challenge into an opportunity!

5. Give your support to people

Everybody is concerned by the outbreak, and some are on the front line. Provide your help to those in need by supporting public health and safety or even partners. Of course, your public image will be positively affected and you will actively participate in the resolution of the crisis.

DON’T: Things that may kill your business 

1. Wait for the end of the crisis 

If you think that crisis rhymes with inactivity and wait, then you’re wrong! It is exactly good timing to develop your business.  Consumers’ attention is available and being absent during the crisis can cost you a lot. Other brands will take advantage of the situation to develop even more while you were inactive. There’s no way that it happens! Don’t be afraid, don’t freeze your activity, and be proactive.  

2. Not taking advantage of a crisis situation: missing the opportunity

Every challenge is an opportunity. An opportunity to prove your value. If you miss the opportunity that the crisis creates, you will miss all the reactive value that you could have brought to your company. It is a good way to stand out from your competition and be different. 


3. Only focusing on physical experience, forgetting about digital experience 

Stores are forced to close, we grant you: it isn’t convenient. But don’t focus only on physical experience, there exists the other open doors: the digital world. E-commerce platforms are a good solution to continue selling products and extend the experience you offer. You can also think about updating your service and experience to be more efficient online. 

4. Thinking crisis is the new standard

The crisis is only a period, not a definitive situation. You first have to adapt, but there is an after, and you will have to adapt again!

As you understood, adaptation is key to overcoming the crisis and getting out of it stronger.

Case study:

1. Starbucks and McDonald’s

Starbucks and McDonald’s quickly reacted to the outbreak by reassuring their customers. They showed that they took precautions when preparing the orders by wearing masks and regularly cleaning their hands and workplace.

2. Uniqlo and Didi

Uniqlo and Didi provided help and support to Wuhan’s inhabitants. Uniqlo donated clothes while Didi offered free taxi services. All of this while being clean and protected and communicating about it on social networks.

Do you want to bring out the opportunity of the current crisis? But you don’t know how to do it?

We can advise you:

We are GMA:

-Digital marketing experts

-Crisis management specialists

-B2B professionals

-More than 800 projects led

YOU can accompany your consumers through this crisis, and WE can accompany you to get through it. Feel free to call us to find the best solution for you.


  • florine

    YOU ARE SO RIGHT! So many brands stopped their entry in China when they heard about the virus outbreak, and so many others stopped to communicate to their consumers!
    Your DO section is full of the right things to do. Accompany consumers, support local people, … This is the best communication and brand image you can give to your customers and to your potential future customers.

  • leopold

    I started reading this article with the feeling that I would not agree with your point a view, but after reading it I definitely have to say you are right!!!
    A friend of mine has a restaurant and he was forced to close it during the quarantine. Now he can make some sales but only to takeaways. I will advise him to continue his business even if it’s hard and to be present on social platforms to accompany his clients like you advised to. Being visible during this period is indeed important and I believe it can even be beneficial for the ones who were present for the after-crisis.

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