“Information is only useful when it can be understood“,
a famous phrase coined by Muriel Cooper, the resident designer at MIT Press in the mid-50s but still just as relevant today. With the plethora of marketing messages and channels nowadays, it is no longer enough to simply stand out from the crowd. You also have to be understood.
Power to the people
Under lockdown we have seen some brands leading the charge and addressing the ongoing pandemic, adapting their instantly recognisable identities for the wider good. Making simple yet subtle changes to their logos to reinforce government messaging, they have communicated swiftly and clearly. In a crucial time when some political leaders have only managed to stutter and confuse, these brands have stepped in to help reinforce the guidance with clear, direct messaging.
Keeping it on brand and on message
Once lockdown happened, the social distancing guidelines were superseded by the messaging ‘Stay Home. Protect The NHS. Save Lives’ – and again, brands were keen to get involved and support the UK efforts in controlling the virus. While in most markets, marketing budgets declined or were just stopped completely, brands were having to find innovative and creative ways to keep their reduced activity on brand and on message. Many reverted to familiar, immediately recognisable brand cues to continue their communication.
Evolution not revolution
Brands will continue to adapt and evolve in line with the changing behaviours of the consumers, markets and environments that surround them. Adapting tone of voice and creativity to suit new realities is key to a brand staying relevant now and in the future. Spotify’s campaign last year highlighted the changes in both music and humanity from the 80s to present day with their campaign, and it was one which we embraced too – updating it with even more topical themes to reflect the PR world perspective – you can see more of our work on this here.
The speed of Covid-19 infections, coupled with the relative immediacy of lockdown, meant that brands had to react more quickly and sensitively than at any other time in recent history. Being aware of the seriousness of the situation and the potential for the public to panic, enlightened brands still managed to harness their innate ability to cut through a wall of noise with clear, supportive messaging. A wonderful example of brands using their influence to connect on a deeper human level when it is needed most.