How to Stay True to Your Brand Values During a Crisis

By Hâfi Martinsdóttir

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes | 1052 words

We have been working closely with our clients to adapt their marketing strategy throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and to ensure that the tone of their messaging at this time is in accordance with their brand ethos while also being sensitive to the current climate.

There are numerous ways in which you can reassure your community that you are taking action to remove any unnecessary risk of contamination and show your humanity to those who are struggling. Below we showcase a few examples of considerate messages from hoteliers and guesthouse owners that are spot-on in the hopes that these will guide you as you consider your brand’s message to your own community of travelers and guests.

The main factors to get across within your messaging would be the following:

  • Ensure your flexible booking terms and waived cancellation fees are clearly stated as this is what most people are concerned about right now. People want to book a stay but they have no confidence to book. Remove the risk that they will be penalised should their travel plans need to change.
  • Show your commitment to your team and your guests’ health and safety by sharing the actions that you are taking to mitigate the risk of infection at your hotel or guesthouse. We would recommend stating that you are closely following the guidelines of your Government Health officials and any other organisation whose instructions you are monitoring.
  • Share your sympathy with the current predicament that your guests and would-be guests face, including acknowledging their lack of confidence when it comes to booking at this time.
  • Keep your messaging on brand. If your hotel is known for light-hearted vibes, feel free to inject some humour into your message. Just be sure to keep it considerate and tasteful. Many hoteliers in Britain are including references to the famous British sense of humour and stubbornness during times of difficulty with sentiments such as; ‘Keep calm and carry on’ and ‘Stiff upper lip’. Remind your guests that there are fellow humans behind your brand and you will reap the rewards later on as people will connect more with your business because of it.
  • Most importantly, show your humanity. Keep your tone positive and encouraging, share that you are looking forward to welcoming guests soon and perhaps mention what they can look forward to experiencing when your doors reopen.

The Surfrider Malibu

The Surfrider Malibu does an excellent job of showing just how much they care about their team, whom they consider to be family, as well as for the well being of their guests. You can feel their humanity emanating from their message and it certainly does evoke sympathy from their predicament. But it also shows their strength and resilience by sharing how they have battled hardships before and that we can surely rely on them to be ready to greet us warmly when the time comes for them to reopen. 

Provenance Hotels

Provenance Hotels chose to lead their messaging with humanity and their care for the well being of their guests, team and community. They assure us that they are closely following the guidelines and taking this situation very seriously. Their tone certainly makes us feel confident that they have a plan of action and fully intend to see this pandemic through and welcome us. They make their flexible booking policy known to reassure anyone considering booking that you will not be penalised should you need to cancel closer to the time. This messaging feels strong and inspires confidence, this tone will be remembered when the dust settles and people begin reconsidering booking a stay.


VacayCo have opted for the staycation angle and are encouraging locals to consider self-isolating in comfort and style. By listing the many amenities that they have to offer would-be guests, it reassures that this would certainly be a delightful spot to isolate.

Kauai Discovery

Although not a hotel, we appreciated the familial message that was published by Kauai Visitiors Bureau, reassuring us that we are all in this together and how important it is right now for us to all look out for one another. 

Kiwi Collection

The travel agency, Kiwi Collection, took to encouraging daydreaming about future trips and reassuring us that we are united in this struggle. While some hotels are still taking bookings for staycations, some are opting to close and instead continue to inspire via imagery until they are open once more. By continuing to post regularly, instead of going quiet, you ensure that your resort is not forgotten and keeps you top of mind when people begin to feel more confident to book. Remember, people are at home, looking for inspiration and an escape from their reality. It’s important to continue to promote your guesthouse, now more than ever because when bookings return, you need to ensure you’re right up there at the top with the memorable destinations.

Tigmi Trading

Although Tigmi Trading is actually a homeware company, we enjoyed their message so much that we decided to feature it here in case it helps spark some ideas for your own branded message. The main part that we love about this post is the uplifting positivity at the end where they state all of the ways that they can still bring joy and inspiration into your life and home. Also, by reminding everyone that their online store is still open for business, they ensure that their revenue won’t flatline due to their studio closure. You can read more on the benefits of investing in your own online store as a hotelier in the following articles: Use Your Luxury Hotel or Guesthouse Website to Your Advantage During the COVID-19 PandemicHow to Market Your Luxury Guesthouse or Resort During the COVID-19 Outbreak.

Final words

It’s important to see these difficult times as an opportunity to showcase the humanity and strength behind your brand. The world is watching and they want to see considerate, positive messaging from strong leaders. The way that your brand acts now will have an impact that continues long into the future so it’s important that we see now as the chance to foster increased brand loyalty than ever before so that we can reap the rewards in the not too distant future.

We remain committed to guiding guesthouse owners, boutique hoteliers and owners or managers of small, independent resorts as we navigate this outbreak together. We will continue to make regular updates regarding the hospitality and tourism industry’s ongoing performance along with potential strategies that are worth implementing to mitigate the impact this pandemic will have on your business.

Unsure of your next step? Get clear on your hotel’s recovery strategy

Gain access to our COVID-19 Hotel Reopening Checklist

As COVID-19 is unlikely to disappear completely without an effective vaccine, it’s expected that we will have a W shaped recovery with lock downs repeatedly being enforced, relaxed and enforced again over time. Being prepared for this tumultuous recovery will stand you and your hotel in good stead to ride the waves to come.

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About Magpie Creative Co.

Magpie Creative Co. is a digital marketing and design consultancy with a worldwide client base. We provide branding, web design and online marketing for businesses that offer luxury guest experiences and require an efficient online booking system.

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