August 05, 2020

Topic, Trends

Empathic Brands - Why the crisis can be the new chance for brands

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Alexandra Rebernig
Managing Director / Rebernig Brand Design

The emotional strength of brands - more important than ever in times of crisis. Brands that build closeness and loyalty, respond empathetically to customers, adapt to their individual needs and situations, and at the same time remain recognisable and consistent, are becoming the winners of the crisis. Rebernig Brand Design develops brands, identity and strategic appearances for renowned clients, which build deep relationships, are consistent and adaptable at the same time. Alexandra Rebernig explains how this is achieved.

What exactly are Empathic Brands?
It's about building an emotional connection to the people you want to reach as a brand. Closeness and connection can be created and intensified through design. In order to do this, you have to know what is important to people not only on a rational but also on an emotional level. Only brands that really respond to people, that are committed, make the difference in our special time. Empathic brands share values with their customers, pick them up emotionally and recognize how they can help people and enrich their lives.

How do you approach brand development?
We develop brands that enter into a relationship with people by being human and close. Therefore we imagine the brand as a real person, define their personality, character, attitude and determine how they behave in different situations. Thinking about brands like people changes the perspective and leads to results that are much better and more empathic than brand development that is purely product-driven. The visual appearance is then created according to this personality in colours, shapes and content.

What new opportunities are being created for brands by the crisis?
To understand brand work as the mere sending of messages is marketing of yesterday and is no longer sufficient today. It is about a new evolutionary study in brand management. During the crisis, there were brands that relied on simple effects and campaigns that had little to do with people. On the other hand, there were brands that looked closely, that understood how important it is to pick up people emotionally, especially in times of crisis. These brands have benefited from the crisis because they have been able to build trust and now have correspondingly more loyal customers.

What role does an emotional brand core play and how do I find it?
We find and define the emotional core of the brand together with our customers in the BrandLab. What makes the brand? What connects? What does the brand have to be like so that it becomes a part of my life? And does the brand feel? What does it look like? As brand designers, we define and design the brand core so clearly that the users, i.e. our customers and their employees, can react flexibly to different situations and environments. We create brands not only with the head, but above all with the heart. This is why we call the Customer Journey the Emotional Journey. Where are there emotional points of contact with the target group? What is it annoyed about? How can we emotionally charge the brand experience? How can we design it with even greater added value? An empathic brand consists above all of humanity, interaction and authenticity, which becomes visible in design.

What about success figures? Is success measurable?
We always design with pre-defined goals in mind. When we develop or change brands, we can check this with the help of surveys before, during and after the design process using key performance indicators, which for example relate to the sympathy or loyalty for a brand. These factors are measurable and contribute to our clients' success.

What role will brands play in the future?
In the future, brands will not only market products and contribute to the successful business results of companies, they will also make the world a little better. For their customers and best of all for all of us.

We would be happy to support you in taking advantage of the opportunities of the crisis. Contact us.