Business as Unusual

Business as Unusual: An Analysis on the Role Brands are Expected to Play at this Time

On May 8,  AMCHAM's Marketing & Communications Committee hosted their second video conference to over 70 attendees titled Business as Unusual: An Analysis on the Role Brands are Expected to Play at this Time. The analysis included global takeaways as well Thailand-specific data rooted in the Edelman Trust Barometer, an annual study on credibility and trust in as well as the firm's Trust Barometer Special Report on covid-19 conducted in March and April. Marketing & Communications Co-Chair Jerry Margolis, introduced speaker Adrian Warr; CEO Hong Kong & Taiwan, & Market Growth Thailand for Edelman, who was accompanied by Jacob Holder; Senior Vice President, Regional Reputation and Strategy, Thailand Lead of Edelman.

The Edelman Trust Barometer was an online survey distributed in 28 markets with over 34,000 respondents contributing to the research. "Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the face", stated Adrian as he used the quote to emote how much companies felt about their brand communications as covid-19 disrupted world industries. During his presentation, Adrian answered many questions that companies are asking themselves during this time: What is the role of business in societal crisis? When is the right time to continue with a marketing plan? and How genuine is my brand's message? just to name a few. Adrian highlighted both companies that were pivoting in a positive manner as well as some organizations that seem to miss the mark in their communications.

Nearly 82% of survey respondents thought that company CEOs should be leading the way in change as opposed to waiting for governments to create policy. The survey also showed that most respondents expect company brands to prioritize people over profits, for companies to partner with NGOs and the government to help contribute to change, and to use their brand for good. Adrian stated the companies should not just prepare for covid-19 but also be ready for other crisis like cyber attacks as well as future pandemics. Some brand winners in the survey were companies with a focus on the customer experience and community contribution proving that organizations did not need to be included in a global contribution efforts if they come from a SME with limited resources.

Adrian completed the survey with tips that businesses could use to continue succeeding during these uncertain times. He encouraged companies to be useful and to go for substance when communicating their brands' movement. After the presentation, Jerry Margolis moderated a question and answer session where Adrian and Jacob fielded questions from the audience.

Members can find the presentation available on the AMCHAM member portal.

Special thanks to AMCHAM's Marketing & Communications Committee Co-Chairs Jerry Margolis, John DaSilva, David Norcross, and Louie Morante for organizing this event.

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