When things look dire there is the natural tendency to retreat, to hoard supplies and close the doors. In reality, a brand is built in moments of crisis. It is during these times that people are looking for guidance, leadership, and hope. It is hard to impact perceptions during easy times. People tend to live in a daze. This is not the case when alarm is present. Attentions are sharp. Everyone is watchful, observant and attentive. This is when your actions and response will be measured and remembered.
How fast did you respond? Did you reassure your clients? Are you formulating a response to the crisis, whatever that might be? Let me be very clear, saying nothing or doing nothing, says a lot.
Remember, winning is easy. Nothing is truly learned. It is how you respond when the floor drops out of your fund, or your lead portfolio company’s revenue stream is crippled. It is during these times your actions will be judged and remember. Your brand will be defined by them.
My last point is a big one. Even if you have something to say and want to face the day with courage and empathy, do you have an audience? Good intentions and good actions account for little if no one hears.
All said, in good times people dismiss the need to figure out what they stand for, or build the pipeline required to communicate to a large audience of people. Everything feels easy, the budget unnecessary. Unfortunately that leaves them rudderless and devoid of an audience when their response and words really matter.