Distinct Brand Identity Required During Covid-19

The brand is a business’ most valuable asset, especially given the competition cannot copy it. Yet, it seems most small to medium size businesses put more of their time and effort into their product offering and not their brand identity. Though a great concern regardless, most concerning during COVID-19. Before COVID-19, brands had 5-7 seconds to grab the consumers’ attention at retail. Daunting, yes, but the majority of consumers were taking multiple trips to the grocery store. During this pandemic, the task to appeal to the consumer has become that much more formidable given:

  1. Majority of consumers (89%) taking 1 shopping trip weekly to grocery store.[i]
  2. Making a shopping list identified as the second biggest behavioural change (31%) amongst grocery shoppers due to COVID-19. Stocking up on household essentials # 1.[ii]
  3. Consumers (73%) undertaking less browsing in grocery stores.[iii]
  4. Increased level of competition in the online market.

Brand Identity

COVID-19 has changed the playing field we are accustomed to. To persevere during this period brands’, require a distinct identity.

Let’s examine 3 distinct principles when it comes to branding.

  1. The brand is not a logo, name, or product.
  2. Branding is a consumer’s gut feeling.
  3. Brands are defined by the consumer, not the business.

So what makes a brand distinct which I like to refer to as the brand’s 4Ps?


 “The reason for which something is done or created.” This defines the Why of the brand. Why is the business in the business it is in?

Point of Differential

What makes your brand unique that delivers a highly valued difference to the consumer and one in which the competition cannot easily copy?


The experience a company’s customers can expect to receive every single time they interact with that company. Keep it simple and credible.

Best Brand Promise List: Geico: “15 minutes or less can save you 15% or more on car insurance”.


A set of human characteristics that you wish to be attributed to the brand. How the brand connects with the consumer plays a crucial role in the brands development.

“Consumers Shop Rationally. They Purchase on Emotion!”

The business landscape has shifted altogether as strict country-wide lockdowns has altered Canadians buying behaviors, specifically in the grocery sector.. A silver lining for smaller brands during this pandemic reveal:

  1. Canadians are open to tying new products and brands.
  2. Canadian made products are more important now than before COVID-19.[iv]

To be on the consumers radar screen due to the vast majority of choices they have today, a distinct brand identity is required. It does not happen over night. It is a marathon, not a sprint. Each of the brand’s touch points must emphasize the brand’s 4P’s.

“If a Business Does Not Brand Itself, the Competition Will Do it For Them.!”


[i] COVID-19: Navigating a Crisis, How Grocery is Adapting to a New Reality, Canadian Grocer, April 2020

[ii] That Have Increased Among Grocery Shoppers Because of the COVID-19 Pandemic in the United States in 2020, www.statista.com

[iii] COVID-19 and Shifting Shopping Behaviours, Canadian Grocer Webinar, June 2020

[iv] COVID-19 and Shifting Shopping Behaviours, Canadian Grocer Webinar, June 2020