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  • Zach Braiker

Your Roadmap to Build Brand Trust during COVID-19

Updated: Feb 14, 2022

When life is no longer “business as usual”, brands cannot continue as usual. We all know the importance of doing the right thing in the face of COVID-19, so here’s the research and a roadmap for how to best respond and why. 

Maintaining brand trust during the pandemic is essential. A global study has found that for 81% of consumers, perceiving a brand as doing the right thing is a dealbreaker in their purchasing decisions. In fact, 1 in 3 consumers have already punished the brands that have not responded well by persuading others to abandon them.

That’s why the Edelman Trust Barometer has identified four research-backed recommendations for maintaining brand trust during this time.

Click to see the full report from Edelman

1. Show up and do your part. Doing the right thing now goes a long way. 65% of people agree that how well a brand responds to the crisis today, will have a huge impact on their likelihood of buying that brand in the future. 

2. Don’t act alone. 90% of consumers believe that brands must partner with government and relief agencies to respond to the crisis in order to earn or keep their trust.

3. Solve, don’t sell. 89% of consumers believe that brands must shift to producing products that help people respond to challenges to earn or keep their trust.

4. Communicate with emotion, compassion and facts. 83% of US consumers want their brands to be an educator, offering people instructional information about the virus and how to protect themselves.

Translate the recommendations into practice. Here’s what the recommendations really mean and some examples of other brands that have mastered them. 

Show up and do your part.

This means leveraging a brand’s resources and creativity to make a difference and help communities.

The Weather Channel is producing and airing scientific educational content for families with children currently staying at home due to school closures.

Click to see the full article

Don’t act alone.

Collaborate with other companies, initiatives, and the government to provide aid. 

Ford and GE Healthcare joined forces with 3M to assist in the production of health equipment including respirators for those who are having trouble breathing due to the coronavirus.

Click to learn more. Image via Ford: “Operators and assemblers assemble medical face shields.”

Google and Apple are developing a mobile application that can alert people if they have been in contact with someone that has the coronavirus.

Solve, don’t sell.

Focus a brand’s efforts on finding appropriate and meaningful solutions to the new problems that people are facing today. 

THULE, which produces outdoor transportation products, is utilizing their 3-D printers to print plastic frames to make face shields for hospital staff.

Click to learn more. Image via SGB Media / THULE.

Communicate with emotion, compassion, and facts.

Try to communicate with empathy to inform and calm the public. It is also important to exhibit other positive actions and commitments. 

Cottonelle urged to calm panic buying with their slogan “stock up on generosity” and started #ShareASquare.

Click to learn more. Image via Cottonelle.

Equally important to doing the right thing, is communicating it in the right way. 66% of Americans find it reassuring to hear about what their brands are doing to respond to the pandemic, and 84% want advertising to reflect how products are helping in the pandemic. 

P.S. Want Some Help?

refine+focus is offering a free personalized session offering specific recommendations for how to build trust in your business. Send us a note to and tell us more about your business. 

Cover photo by REVOLT

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