How to Survive During the Crisis. Five Effective Brand Strategies from Dentsu

16 November 2020

49% of CMOs continue to work according to the old crisis strategies. This approach is incompatible with brand survival

Dentsu communication group conducted a large-scale survey of marketing directors about the best anti-crisis tools. Almost half of the respondents (49%) admit that they built their strategies during the pandemic on the basis of old crisis plans. Many CMOs underestimate how important fresh thinking and new ideas are today.

More than half of CMOs believe their business has been hit by the pandemic, according to the dentsu CMO Survey 2020 .

  • 7% (almost all small business leaders) cite the coronavirus crisis as a serious threat.
  • 25% of CMOs believe that the crisis has had minimal impact on their companies.
  • Every tenth CMO (usually from larger organizations) notes that the crisis, on the contrary, helped their business.


Source: dentsu CMO Survey 2020

Small businesses predict a significant reduction in marketing budgets, and more than half of large companies (with 1,000+ employees), on the contrary, plan to increase their marketing expenses.


Source: dentsu CMO Survey 2020

The study found that the main challenge for brands was the unpredictability of consumer behavior during the pandemic. In this uncertainty, pioneers appear who build fundamentally new strategies, focusing on the crisis tasks of clients.

They offer five effective strategies for developing brands in the new reality.

  1. Hyperempathy

It is the ability to more deeply understand existing and new customers and update this knowledge in real time (through your own customer data, e-commerce, direct contact with the consumer, or increased investment in CRM). Hyperempathy requires moving from selling products and services to creating rewarding experiences based on consumer research and design thinking.

  1. Hyperflexibility

The brand must act like a startup and transform consumer insight into the rapid development of relevant communications, products and services, with a focus on content, innovation, product development, and pricing.

  1. Hypercollaboration

The business moves as a whole in a process of continuous change and requires a higher level of integration with the top management and other departments of the company, as well as external partners and suppliers.

  1. Hyperconsolidation

The ability to quickly rationalize client portfolios and prioritize larger, more resilient brands that are better able to weather times of economic uncertainty, while simultaneously seizing opportunities for strategic mergers and acquisitions.

  1. Hyper transparency

Ensuring that all elements of the business, from supply chains to employee wellbeing and customer engagement, pass any external review.

In today’s conditions, when brands have to fight for survival on a daily basis, planning seems like a luxury, but it is during a crisis that new norms and behaviors are formed. Innovative strategies have already been formed, and now it is necessary to focus on their implementation. The survival of the brands themselves and the function of marketing as a custodian of their growth depend on this.

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