How should brands respond to the Coronavirus Crisis?

How should brands respond to the Coronavirus Crisis?

Amidst the Coronavirus outbreak, the right communication is crucial for brands to be in control of their current situation. Staying positive and pro-active could be one of the best communication approaches according to this 2020 China Market Trends Report.

The coronavirus will have a profound effect on china’s economy – creating more strain during this ‘down’ year. Brands who are un-prepared for how to manage their way through this period will feel the compounded challenge of what was already expected to be a difficult year.

For all brands, the crisis should be a reminder to revisit their position with their stakeholders (employees, suppliers/partners, KOLs, etc). And for brands who are on top of their game, it’s an opportunity to communicate – or reposition themselves – around authenticity and empathy. In other words, to be a positive force during a challenging time.

3 ways to communicate during the Coronavirus crisis


Starbucks has done an admirable job in getting in front of the issue, with communications that are: 1. Pro-active: answering concerns people might have about a visit to Starbucks during this time. 2. Positive: demonstrating an attitude that creates optimism


Finding a way to contribute which is in alignment with your brand’s core capability is valuable, but ultimately it’s more about making an effort to contribute something positive to a challenging situation – rather than scoring brand wins.


AirBNB’s work to support small villages in China has helped define a purpose for the brand and given it a rationale for follow up communications, while providing a social service. Brands looking at contributing to the Coronavirus challenge should do so with the intent to follow it up with purpose-driven activity in China. Global brands in China perhaps have a greater need to build this goodwill and do so consistently.


China Marketing Trends ReportAbove information is adapted from the 2020 China Market Trends Report by Totem Media.

For the full report please download here.





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