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Just how resilient are you as a brand and as an employer?

This past year, organisations of all shapes and sizes have seen disruption, along with the resulting explosion of flexible and remote working.

Other things have been amplified too. Uncertainty is huge. Organisations have had their resilience tested like never before.

In this environment of flux, people are looking for a better sense of connection with employer brands. From law firms and telcos, to fruit and vegie companies, there’s a palpable increase in the desire for companies to have a purpose other than simply making profit. The drive for improved employee wellbeing also continues.

For the past decade, we have been running Brand Alpha, an annual consumer survey that ranks brands on authenticity measures in four areas – visibility, value, virtue and vitality. And this year, we have been exploring resilience, for obvious reasons.

The insights emerging about brands seen as most resilient highlight the increased focus on having a purpose with a broader societal aspect to it. The leading brands share certain characteristics.

They ‘know themselves’ and have a clear sense of their values, beliefs and the value delivered to their community. They are recognised (over time) by customers and staff as being true to these values, beliefs and their community role. They also demonstrate an ability to adapt. To amplify the value delivered to customers through fresh expressions of their purpose and beliefs, and what they deliver in changing or trying times.

Analysis of the leading brands in the study – the top six being Ashley Bloomfield, Whitakers, All Blacks, Ecostore, Pak’nSave, My Food Bag – also suggests the pandemic helped elevate those that had an existing ‘moral code’. These were simply quicker off the mark because they had a degree of evident purpose.

So what can we learn from these businesses to make our own organisations more resilient?

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