Keep Calm and Communicate on Through These Challenging Times

From the Desk of Kurt Cannon

How many times in the past several weeks have we heard that the current pandemic is “unprecedented,” or “historic?” That it will take decades for the economy to truly recover? Or, finally, the very thought that human interaction will never be the same?

These are extremely broad thoughts that pervade our homes, communities, and society in times like this. Unfortunately, these thoughts lack borders and allow our minds to race ahead, often to the worst possible scenarios where we drift in uncertainty.

So, when asked, I decided to focus a blog post on the most fundamental concept for moving the world forward. It’s all around us. It’s a collective action we’ve been leaning into since our stay-at-home order began: communication.

My approach may sound simplistic. “I communicate all day,” you might say. Well, of course you do. We all do. We communicate both verbally and non-verbally to friends, family, neighbors, colleagues, and many others. This personal communication often has a special formula to it, a formula that connects us more intimately than you would expect in the business world. This formula grounds us in compassion, empathy, and love – three things that are often lacking from B2C or B2B communications.

Now, what I’m saying should come as no surprise because we’ve been seeing a shift in this kind of communication. My favorite example is the Subaru “Love” campaign launched in 2008 and touted by the company as “love of the product, love of the brand, and love of what Subaru means.” For the record, I do not own a Subaru, but I would argue that their campaign is also about the love of understanding what really matters to the modern consumer while putting the carmaker’s whole heart behind it.

The impact of the message comes from market research, brand positioning, and strategic marketing plans, for sure. But, forgetting all of those obvious components that a MarCom team will outline, it must be based on truly understanding who you are as a company and how you will change the world – one customer, one engagement, one transaction at a time. It is about the heart and soul of the brand.

Boiled down to its most basic form, understanding yourself and how you are really able to impact another person is the common thread between your personal communication and your business communication. Think of “yourself” as a person or as a company. Why can they not think and act alike? Well, they can and they must. If this current pandemic has taught us nothing else, it has confirmed how very connected we are and how we truly impact one another’s lives each day.

As individuals, we have reacted by finding new ways to connect, to share our love for one another, and to solidify our relationships. As businesses, we must follow suit. We must pivot to a place of deep connection to our customers. A place of compassion for their unique situations and how we can help shape a better future.

To accomplish this, our businesses must invest in understanding themselves.

At Liquid, we consider ourselves a Digital Business Company. We came to that conclusion after challenging our own purpose – our own reason for existing in an evolving digital world. What we realized is exactly what I am now challenging all businesses to consider: we exist to make a difference.

We strive to make that difference with our customers by creating relationships – true relationships where there is an investment made in understanding our customers at every level. Investing in deep, meaningful understanding of the people who make up any business is the most respectful thing we can do. From that investment come the most powerful interactions and the most amazing results – at every single level.

Relationships built upon a bedrock of compassion, empathy, or love cannot be broken by crisis. They are strengthened!