Casey Null - Senior Strategist

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Hart has explored in detail the ways brands must adapt to changing consumer values in the face of a global crisis. Most recently, we focused on the ways these values influence consumer behavior and the importance of addressing their ongoing evolution.

For the third and final post in our series, we address what it means for brands looking to take action; specifically, how brands should be adapting to changing consumer values and how they go about creating new experiences that reflect those values most strongly.

How can my brand adapt to address our audience’s changing values?

The relationships consumers have with your brand evolve with their values. Under the new circumstances of a global pandemic, consumers’ values are subject and likely to change as many cope with financial, emotional and social uncertainties. And there’s currently no signal to indicate these changes are short term. Consumers are adapting to the “new normal,” and brands must do the same.

After conducting a thorough analysis of the pandemic’s impact on your customers, consider your brand’s current positioning:

  • Are you positioned to serve them under these new circumstances?
  • Are your brand values still in alignment with their needs and priorities?

It’s unlikely these shifting values will require an entire rebrand, but companies will undoubtedly benefit from adjusting to the needs of their customers. Evaluate your positioning and brand values. Consider message pillars, voice and tone. In doing so, it’s likely you’ll find opportunities to better align with your customers, sustaining and strengthening the relationships you’ve worked so hard to build.

What experiences can my brand create to reflect my customers’ values more strongly?

Consumers have become more discerning in recent years, and the current health crisis has only intensified that behavior. They evaluate brands based on what they do, not what they say. So it’s never been more important for brands to deliver experiences that address and align with their customers’ values.

As consumer values shift in the wake of COVID-19 and greater emphasis is placed on values like safety, community and affordability, many brands have begun activating new experiences that align with these values. We’ve seen live entertainment from some of the world’s biggest stars streamed into the safety of people’s homes. Several brands have developed fundraising campaigns that redirect proceeds to support small businesses hit hardest in local communities. And many others have adopted new policies that provide payment flexibility for those experiencing the negative financial impacts of the crisis.

It’s important to note that there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Brands must start by examining their own positioning and values and how they reflect the evolving values of today’s consumers. What experiences can you create that reflect those values? What solutions can you deliver that might resonate given the new perspective of your customers?

If you’re looking for a partner to help guide your brand through times of change, Hart’s strategists are here and willing to assist. To learn how our brand development exercise can help you better align with the changing values of your audience, get in touch.


Casey Null
Senior Strategist

419.893.9600 Ext. 477