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How To Use Brand Identity To Face A Crisis?

Four examples of brands that have managed the crisis due to the Coronavirus by focusing on brand identity. It has been a year now since, for the first time, we found ourselves faced with the concrete problem of a health emergency and with the need to stay inside our homes. A situation that has created many difficulties but which, in some cases, has also generated new perspectives and new business opportunities.

When everything around us changes, is it possible to remain identical to ourselves? And how to adapt so as not to be overwhelmed? These are the questions that have guided many big brands’ online and non-online actions. Thus, communication has undergone an almost immediate change in themes, contents, and tone of voice. The leitmotif is the brand identity that, properly managed, has guided numerous brands to greater empathy towards people.

Why Focus On Brand Identity In Times Of Crisis?

A very complex and delicate job: reviewing communication and marketing. A big obstacle to overcome for each brand. What to publish? What message to promote? How to approach the public? How to keep the bond with people? Many questions have found an answer starting from a single element. Yes, because when everything around us collapses, our identity holds us together. Or rather, the brand identity. The personality and values ​​remain the same as always for each brand. And they represent the point from which to reorganize.

When the economic crisis has hit the buying and selling mechanism, many companies have decided to deepen and enhance their brand identity. The target? Listening to people to understand new needs, develop greater empathy, move communication to a more human and less corporate level and support the public in this confused and stalled phase. In short, to be there. Be there with clear and consistent values, voices, and actions.

How Brand Identity Helps Success In Times Of Crisis

The big brands have faced the pandemic by keeping their values ​​firmly and aiming to make them emerge more evident through communication. In this way, each person could identify with those values ​​and feel them even more. And also feel the brand much more present. Values ​​are the undisputed protagonists in times of crisis. Values ​​put in the spotlight by working on some elements of the brand identity:


By making small changes and never losing recognition, the logo can underline some messages that the brand wants to pass through powerfully and immediately,

Tone Of Voice

The challenge for communication when there is a crisis is to speak with your audience, promote positive and reassuring messages, and recognize that on the other side of the screen, there are people of flesh and blood. Thanks to its versatile nature, the ToV manages to do all this for a brand. According to the context, it can be modulated that greater empathy and sharing

Pay Off

The slogan that each company chooses so that, with a few words, the public not only recognizes it but identifies itself with that message plays a decisive role in the event of a crisis. It can emphasize positive values ​​and concepts if created ad hoc for the occasion and modify small details of the original payoff.

Case Study: What Brands Have Done

In facing the crisis, many well-known brands have chosen the path of responsibility towards others and act as a guide and source of inspiration to manage the moment of difficulty. Let’s see how they communicated all this on a practical level.


The Logo

It was enough for the German car company to separate the letters V and W of the logo to a spokesperson for social distancing.

The Tone Of Voice

Messages that demonstrate knowledge of the problems to be faced and practical sense. Consistent with its own identity, Volkswagen makes itself feel close to people, part of the people, emphasizing the inclusive us, as in the video created ad hoc.

The Payoff

A real awareness campaign, which does not renounce to emphasize the product’s characteristics. And he doesn’t give up even a pinch of irony to lighten the atmosphere. “Perfect for the city, for the countryside, and for staying in the garage,” this is what one of the slogans studied by the company and promoted on social media says.


The Tone Of Voice

Communication is immediately aligned with the emergency condition, accentuating the warm and conversational ToV of all time. The messages are modulated on the new needs. The company is always attentive to people’s problems. Empathy is the heart of communication. Do you have to work in intelligent working? Here are the tips for organizing your space at home. Do you want to create moments of sharing with children at home from school? Here is a catalog of games for the whole family.

The Payoff

More than just slogans, Ikea’s are hashtags designed to perfection to support campaigns that express solidarity, entertainment for the whole family, and emotional closeness. #ripartiamo da casa, #TogetheratHome, #We are made to change the messages the company launches.

Coca Cola

The Logo

Coca-Cola also opts for spacing of the logo elements to underline the need to maintain the spacing also in social life.

The Tone Of Voice

A brand that has consistently promoted the values ​​of sharing and union, with simplicity and immediacy, manages to adapt to the new context that requires distance. The tone of voice remains warm and becomes even more empathetic. The choice of Coca-Cola?

Express solidarity and thank all the categories involved in the front line with a series of strategic campaigns launched on social profiles. Taking responsibility towards one’s audience becomes even more evident with a simple and compelling message that goes perfectly with what is expressed by the logo: “Being separate is the best way to be together.”

Increase The Brand Reputation Even In Times Of Crisis

Brands that have decided to expose themselves during the crisis and make their voices heard have gained brand reputation. Trust and bond with customers have strengthened compared to those brands that have remained in the shadows. People will also remember this period in the future and remember who they felt present and close to. The tutorials, webinars, accessible materials for training or just entertainment offered by brands are all aspects that contribute to increasing the brand reputation.

Once the crisis has been overcome, those who are already customers will feel even more involved by the brand, and those who are not yet, in all likelihood, will become so at the first opportunity. So what to do from now on? Staying in mind and close to the public always remains the priority. The further step that must be taken in a crisis is to metabolize the difficulties and react in an empathic and concrete way, talking to people offering them content that makes them feel understood and pampered.

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