Branding expert Scott Leonard has warned start-ups should think very carefully about how they use the coronavirus situation to their advantage.

Photo of Scott Leonard

Scott, who is Creative Director at The Champion Agency, has led branding projects for the likes of Nike, Wanadoo, Momentum Films, St Luke’s and Pfizer among others.

He has seen some brands trying to take advantage of the virus, with tactics often backfiring.

He said: “Anyone using anything to their advantage must be careful how they leverage the situation. Using anything tactically will always only deliver short term gains, potentially taking the brand away from longer term more meaningful conversations.

“We’ve seen a number of brands try to use coronavirus to their advantage and for many it’s backfired. Just as in life whatever you use, you have to treat it with respect look after it carefully and never assume mastery.”

But while some have failed, Scott believes many brands have come out of the situation well – so far.

He added: “Many businesses have worked out creative ways to continue trading by diversifying their offering. We’ve also seen many businesses focus on their brand communications to prepare the conversation for when they fully engage in business.

“Lots of businesses initially leapt to support, some became pandemic experts and began advising clients, others told is how to work effectively from home, some rushed to make ‘useful’ products. In recent weeks some openly voiced support for NHS heroes, then Black Lives Matter and Pride. Michael Jordan opened lockdown reminding us how to win. Black Live Matter invited us all to reflect, educate and unify. Marcus Rashford schooled the Prime Minister in childcare. Local businesses and makers reminded how important they are.”

Scott will be in attendance at our next online MeetUp, looking into the question: Is now a good time to start a business? You'll be able to join him as he leads a breakout session dedicated to branding after the panel discussion. 

Register for your free tickets today.