Managing Reputation During the Pandemic: Ways for Brand to Remain Interesting
PRINDONESIA.CO | Wednesday, June 03, 2020
Managing Reputation During the Pandemic: Ways for Brand to Remain Interesting
The public now tends to be more emotionally bound when choosing a brand.

JAKARTA, PRINDONESIA.CO – That is the essence of the results of a global survey conducted by Edelman Trust Barometer 2020 Special Report: Brand Trust and the Coronavirus Pandemic conducted by Daniel J. Edelman Holdings. The survey was conducted on 12 thousand respondents from 12 countries. The survey was conducted on March 23-26, 2020. 

The survey showed that 33 percent of respondents chose to stop using a particular brand because the brand did not take the right action during the Covid-19 pandemic. While 71 percent of respondents would lose trust forever in the brand/company that put profit first in this difficult period.

Indonesia was not included in the 12 countries surveyed. However, based on the results of previous studies, the character of Indonesian respondents has the same tendency as China and India. And do you know, from the survey, China and India have the highest percentage, 76 percent and 60 percent of respondents chose to stop using a brand if the brand did not take the right action at the time of the pandemic.

Why is that? According to Tantri Kadiman Beekelaar, Head of Corporate and Public Affairs at Edelman Indonesia, the pandemic has changed the way consumers choose their brands so far. The public now tends to be more emotionally bound when choosing a brand. "Before, people prioritize the functional side, now the consideration is shifted," she told PR INDONESIA via video call on Friday (08/5/2020).

It could be that the change was driven by the fact of the large expectations of the public to the company. The survey showed that 62 percent of respondents viewed that companies played an important role in helping countries overcome the pandemic. As many as 55 percents of respondents also viewed that companies were more serious in responding to this pandemic than the government. 

Provide Solution

Therefore, this is the right time for a company to invest in building a brand. Show sincerity and genuine care, and be part of the solution. "Focus on providing solutions, and not selling (company’s product)," said Tantri.

This is in line with the survey results which showed that 90 percent of respondents do not want to see companies/brands prioritizing profit. They just want to see the company/brand concern for employees, partners, and communities around them. Even so, in practice, 90 percent of respondents thought they did not expect the company to move on its own to be part of the solution, but rather to work with a credible government/institution. They understand that not all companies produce products related to handling a pandemic.

This pandemic is also momentum for companies/brands to build trust and strengthen engagement with internal circles. Because 84 percent of respondents, in relation to employees, expect the company as an employer to be a reliable source for employees in providing information on the latest developments in handling Covid-19, not from the government.

Therefore, Tantri advised PR practitioners to build communication that contains emotions, compassion, empathy, and facts. This is the time for brands to appear, take part, collaborate, maximize all resources and creativity to make a difference. Communicate all forms of business that have been done in relation to helping others. Distribute this information by utilizing the existence of mainstream media and owned media because these two channels during the pandemic tended to be more trusted than information that came from social media. Last, don't be reactive, but we must be proactive. (ais/rtn)

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