With many brands looking at safe and effective ways to reach customers and prop up their post-pandemic pipeline, CP5 takes a close look at five ways that brand storytelling can help you to bolster your sales mission — and ultimately help drive respectability to the annual results

For markets in Asia for whom the pandemic is currently in relative control, with vaccination rollouts proceeding steadily, thoughts are increasingly turning to work resumption.

In Singapore, offices are now able to have 75% of their regular capacity in the office — and rush-hour congestion suggests that companies are responding. The Lion City is hoping the first of a series of travel bubbles, from Hong Kong, might allow quarantine-free travel to resume for those who test negative for the virus.

Numerous writers have seen their predictions deemed wildly optimistic by a virus with more twists in its tail than Godzilla vs Kong. We need only look at the tragic crisis in India, already the worst covid-19 outbreak since the pandemic began, to know that we must continue to be vigilant and refrain from self-congratulations.

Whichever direction the infection rates go, the prevailing hope for business is that a semblance of regular ‘business unusual’ can return a degree of predictability to those within this Asia-Pacific bubble. Major ground was lost in 2020-2021, and it’s an easy bet to assume that a vast majority of those in business are turning to sales and lead-generation strategies more keenly than ever, in a bid to shore up pipelines while they have the chance.

There are numerous sales options that remain off the menu until our pandemic fears have eased — and in time, our social distancing regulations loosen. In the meantime, our changing times have heightened the pace of digital adoption and its capacity: and we have proven that business unusual, if not life as we knew it, can and will go on.

Throughout recent history, stories have helped us through the bleakest of times. And for those seeking a new means to connect and activate their sales channels, brand storytelling offers some rich and human-first opportunities to start a conversation without the dreaded hard-sell. In this short series, we’ll feature five approaches to spark the imagination of your own company, and your key customers. This time, we look to the leaders.

Idea 1: Mobilise your leaders through ghost-written thought leadership

The landscape has changed, and many of your customers have far less visibility than ever of the opportunities that lie ahead. But such visibility can’t simply be achieved with snazzy 2019-style sales campaigns — not after what we’ve all been through.

More than ever, we are tackling pandemic fatigue throughout the world — and this is leading to a surge in stress and other mental health issues. And sure, that isn’t something every business leader can tackle head-on. But what they can do is their best. Help to provide perspective, reassurance — and a dash of hopeful energy.

Now is truly a time for leaders to emerge back into the business landscape again, talking about things other than shareholder value and pre-Covid niceties. Now is about helping us to fill knowledge gaps that have formed since the world changed so markedly — highlighting short-terms insights and opportunities that others may miss.

If you don’t have these fresh insights? It’s fine not talk about the full recovery picture just yet — but do discuss why we need to work in partnership to shore up careers and restore a degree of confidence. Simply put, for your leaders, it’s about helping to summon the courage and determination to take on the challenges we face – and reminding people that they’re not alone.

Storytelling wise, this means thought leadership, but not as we knew it. It means writing, voiced videos, infographic reports and animated videos that are both on brand, and on-tone with the demand.

A cautionary note: tone-deaf work at this time will go badly awry. And the stakes are high. Get it wrong, with a dispassionate under-cooked or hurried piece, and you’ll soon be wishing you’d just said nothing. Badly-executed thought leadership does more harm than good — with the best ideas too often missing those who could truly benefit from them.

But rest assured, get it right and you’ve a decent chance of earning some runway.

More than ever, the media will be on the lookout for inspiring stories. And rest assured, if your company continues to sit back, then there’s a good chance that you’ll be reading your rival’s words of wisdom soon.

Simply put, you want to aim for impactful stories that:

  • Are clear and insightful
  • Address subjects that make a difference to people’s lives
  • Feel relevant and genuine, yet remain within brand guidelines
  • Are authentic and non-tokenistic
  • Use the most appropriate channels to reach target readers

Remember, what the market needs right now is hope. Perversely, this may even mean not talking directly about the pandemic — but instead focusing on a sense of mission that can carry us out of it. We are talking here about values-driven vision pieces — the type of messages that not only inspire your partners and customers, but also help your team to rally around the cause.

By drawing from your brand values, your call-to-action piece could centre on subjects ranging from tackling the climate emergency; to exciting consumers again through heightened tech innovation — or just giving our best and brightest students reason to believe in their future again. Whatever it is, do it with conviction, and deliver it with urgency. For those who appreciate it, the value can be immense.

Luke Clark has worked on award-winning post-pandemic recovery teams. For enquires about how to get your thought leadership message right this, click here to talk to us now about amplifying your leadership message in the market.