A crisis triggers brand owners to reorient their marketing efforts, and usually, Advertising and Promotion (A&P) budgets are the first to be slashed. However, contrary to conventional wisdom, brands that have an enhanced presence during a crisis, such as this pandemic, will be the ones to stand out post-recovery.
“In times of crisis, consumers take notice of brands that ’stand by’ them and show that they care. Inadvertently, such brands secure customer confidence and loyalty,” International Advertising Association Malaysia (IAA Malaysia) president John D. Chacko said, adding that this is the case with both multinationals and SMEs.
“Besides generating economic value, brands play a critical role in fuelling economic recovery through innovation, creativity and optimism. They convey the source, quality and authenticity of products and services while representing pride, passion and trust, amongst others. Trust provides consumers with peace of mind that they have made the right choice. Consumers will remain loyal to brands they trust. Every ringgit counts and, in many cases, consumers tend to gravitate towards brands they trust because they have less time to experiment. The Edelman Trust Barometer 2020 concluded that 60% of people are turning more to brands they trust, especially in times of crisis,” said Chacko, one of the panellists at IAA’s “Why Brands Matter” webinar -the second of the three-part “BrandsMatter” webinar series.
During the lively hour-long webinar the four-member panel highlighted insights from industry captains on how brands can ignite pride, passion and trust among consumers, while contributing towards resetting Corporate Malaysia on the path to economic recovery. The other three panellists were Adam Wee (former Group Chief Marketing Officer, CIMB and Maybank), Azrani Rustam (Corporate Affairs and Communications Director, JTI Malaysia) and Rudy Khaw (Chief Brand Officer, Air Asia Group).
“Even as the airline and tourism industries were harshly affected by the pandemic this year, as a brand we never let that deter our vision. Airline aside, we have always been about the people and we used our familiar brand to not only help those in need but also reshaped our offerings to remain relevant and in tune with the people,” said Rudy.
Wee on the other had acknowledged that for brick-and-mortar businesses to gain customers’ trust, particularly with the millennials and Gen Z, can prove to be an arduous task even for brands that have been established over the decades. “This is an era of Brand Fragility. Where brands no longer need to be built over time and can equally be destroyed overnight. What’s important is for brands to be genuine.”
Meanwhile, Azrani pointed out that while brands have a significant role to play at a time when economies need rebooting, brands and brand owners need to be protected against challenges and threats that impact innovation and erode brand equity.
The IAA Global ‘We Love Brands’ campaign was officially launched locally, with the three creatives touching on Trust, Pride and Passion, taking on a Malaysia-centric approach.
IAA Malaysia is embarking on a slew of events leading to the 46th IAA World Congress in 2022, which will be hosted by IAA Malaysia. Themed Brand Re/Code, the congress will address how branding, technology and creativity can amalgamate effectively to create better lives and a better world. Currently, IAA Malaysia is inviting partners and sponsors to support this industry-leading global congress.