Over the past several weeks, our lives have been disrupted. Schools, shops, sports, conferences, concerts, businesses – even countries have closed, leaving us trying to figure out what this new normal will look like. For the time being, it is still to be determined.
While for most of us the ‘new normal’ will most certainly be made up of things like social distancing, remote work and a life without professional sports, it will force businesses trying to sell products or promote their brands to consider these three things:
First, don’t forget your humanity. We’re all in this together and so we must look out for one another. While business, and life, must go on, we’re living through an unprecedented crisis making what was already a difficult task – promoting a new product, or brand – even more difficult. The media will be tasked with pushing out breaking news that changes by the minute. So, while your product or point of view might seem relevant to the larger conversation, both the media and the general public will recognize when you’re exploiting the situation for commercial gain.
Second, think, then speak (or tweet, post, comment, etc.). This is crucial. While it’s important not to be opportunistic, it is equally important to lead and to say something when the opportunity arises. Now is not the time to sit on the sidelines. Rather, be thoughtful in what you have to say, and then act.
Third, be bold. Mobilize your team to help your local community. Do something extraordinary for your customers or the general public at large that lets them know that you stand behind them 100%. This is a time that will define you as a leader, and what your company stands for. No one ever gets anywhere without taking chances and a calculated risk can pay off in the long run.
Back during this past summer, CEOs from around the country joined together and proposed that we rethink the purpose of a contemporary corporation so that it should serve not just shareholders but also employees, customers and society at large. The most human thing businesses can do now is to turn those words into action. The media, the consumer and the world at large are watching. Companies that step up to the challenge and act boldly will be recognized for their courage.