By today, you’ve settled into the new reality of working from home and leaning into your technology of choice to stay connected. Hopefully you’re taking breaks to step outside, check on family and friends, and stop by the store to restock on toilet paper.


And there’s no doubt that you’ve been inundated with brands tripping over themselves, virtue signaling while sharing cut and paste messages of reassurance. While, as we now realize, the most important message is to stay home.


Messages: they are powerful, and they mean more than anything, right now.

Some brands clearly see the role they have to play, because in addition to knowing who they are and what they stand for—they also know their audience.

Neon Light Sign

Learn More:  Brands, Not Governments Can Be Our Covid-19 Cure


In their daily newsletter, Apartment Therapy, the go-to source for all things DIY home décor and care, included a piece on 3 Disinfectants You Can Use if You Can’t Find Clorox Wipes. This was sent almost 2 weeks before the stories of empty shelves began to surface. As a brand, Apartment Therapy stays in line with current trends and events. So, the timeliness should come as no surprise. But what’s interesting is that Apartment Therapy knew that their audience’s needs were about to shift, from keeping a clean home to seeking ways to protect themselves from illness. Apartment Therapy understood that where to find wipes wasn’t the need—It was when you’ll need to switch to another method.


It’s important messages like these, as part of a verbal identity, which feed the brand-audience relationship and serve as an example for why people come back.

Focus Light Sign

Learn More: Three Strategies for Building Consumer Trust and What Do To Do If You’ve Lost It

Tito’s Handmade vodka has a widespread loyalty base. So, when they spotted erroneous messages citing Tito’s as a great way to disinfect hands, they corrected the rumors and led people to the right info. For your info, the CDC recommends a product containing 60% alcohol-Tito’s contains only 40%.


Let’s think about your brand and the role it plays in the lives of your audience. Now think about what your brand says, as a way to feed the relationship: Do your messages meet your audiences’ needs and concerns? Do they matter to them and will they care? Is what you’re saying relevant and timely?


Learn More: Three Ways to Take the Stress Out of Renaming Your Brand

Sandals made an uh-oh and sent an email with the subject line, Saying Hello to Paradise Has Never Been Easier. This disregard for the current state of things is also a disregard for the feelings, cares and current state of the audience. While escapism is a pretty hot fantasy right now, it’s unrealistic given the current situation. This can lead to a brand being seen as tone-deaf: they’re out of touch, seem to be on their own planet, and are speaking to themselves. Messages like this only communicate ignorance and are a surefire way to lose friends of the brand.


Putting your audience first and knowing them just as well as you know your own brand, builds the foundation for not only an all-season messaging approach, but also a roadmap to communicate when there are bumps in the road. Your brand has something important to say-so make sure what you say is also valuable to your audiences.


Reach out to us and let us know your thoughts – how have you seen messaging from brands resonate in the past week or so? How has it landed flat?

March 23, 2020 By Monigle