Brand Building in Crisis: Strategies to Support Your Practice During COVID-19

Learn how to effectively and thoughtfully bolster your brand during – and after – COVID-19, with a focus on client communications and creatively seeking out new business opportunities.

Managing your business during a crisis like COVID-19 requires sensitivity, strategy, and adaptability. How and where should you start? Learn how top strategists, marketers, and public relations professionals industry-wide are practicing compassionate communication in this unprecedented time while still supporting business growth and development. You’ll benefit from the decades of combined experience presenters Christine Abbate, Leena Jain, and Kate Verner bring to the discussion. 

This is a recording of a webinar presented on April 6, 2020.

What You Will Learn
  • Gain tips for adapting current marketing, business development, or communications plans in this climate.
  • Identify new strategies for communicating with clients and other stakeholders without being tone-deaf.
  • Recognize the need for creativity to break through the noise and showcase your work.
  • Learn new digital tactics to keep your networks alive.

Christine Abbate

Founder and President, Novità Communications

Prior to founding Novità in 1996, Christine was Director of Marketing & Promotion for the Italian Trade Commission – Tile Center. Fluent in Italian, she has extensive experience in PR, marketing, trade show/event planning, and design competition management. She loves being a strategic partner to her clients across all of their marketing and product development programs. She lives and breathes design and architecture and has led delegations to many of the world's top design fairs. A creative connector and consummate networker, Chris has developed Novità into one of the leading PR and marketing agencies serving the design industry. She is currently on the Board of Trustees for DIFFA, the Steering Committee for NYCxDesign, the board committees for Marketing, PR and Conferences for Coverings and the PR Advisory Committee for Plus Pool.

Kate Verner

Founder, Kate Verner + Associates

Kate founded KV+A in 2003. Her design skills and business savvy have benefited clients like David Easton, Laura Kirar, Arteriors Home, and Rockwell Group. She studied at Parsons School of Design, helped to launch the iconic retail concept Moss, and blazed trails in licensing and brand extensions in all categories of home product. Kate is an engaging speaker and is regularly invited to share her experiences and expertise at various industry events, including design markets and continuing education conferences.


Leena Jain

Chief Marketing Officer, Humanscale

Leena Jain is the Chief Marketing Officer of Humanscale, the leading designer and manufacturer of ergonomic products that improve the health and comfort of work life. Leveraging her extensive experience in marketing, Leena brings an innovative spirit and unique approach to consumer engagement to her role at Humanscale. As CMO, she manages the company's brand identity, commercial marketing, and product launches on a global scale. Most recently, she led the launch of the Summa executive chair and expanded Humanscale's footprint internationally with significant presence at Salone de Mobile, Clerkenwell and CES.

Leena is driven by her passion for products and brands that bring joy to consumers. Prior to Humanscale, Leena spent 12 years in the beauty industry at L'Oreal and worked on a variety of brands, including Ralph Lauren Fragrances, Pureology and essie nail polish. During her tenure at L'Oreal, she led the launch of many products across fragrance, hair care and cosmetics, rebuilt Pureology's brand positioning and explored virtual try-on technology for a cosmetic line. Leena's experience also includes two years as Senior Analyst within the Corporate Strategy & Finance division of a large restaurant corporation. She began her career at Bain & Company. Leena holds a B.A. from Stanford University and an M.B.A. from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. She served as a four-time member of the Executive Committee for the October Ball fundraiser, which benefits the Boys & Girls Club of NYC.

Kari Stringfellow (Moderator)

Vice President, Member Experience

American Society of Interior Designers

As vice president, Member Experience, Kari leads the ASID Education, Student and Chapter teams, creating relevant member communities, cultivating forward-thinking learning experiences and member engagement, and working to improve both the ASID member and chapter experiences.

With more than 20 years of experience as a facilitator, coach, consultant, and association leader, Kari is dedicated to managing the strategic intersection of learning experiences and member engagement. Her experience leading organizational training and development initiatives includes Fortune 500 companies, higher education institutions, and non-profits, like Estee Lauder Companies, George Mason University, and the National Automobile Dealers Association. She is most passionate about creating relevant, forward-thinking, and innovative initiatives that not only meet the needs of the industry today, but where they need to be prepared to go tomorrow. 


Brand Building in Crisis Part One
Open to view video.
Open to view video. View part one of the recording of a live webinar presented on April 6, 2020, featuring marketing experts Christine Abbate, Kate Verner, and Leena Jain. Part One is 38 minutes long and includes panelist discussion of how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting client communications, how to creatively seek out new business, use of social media, telling your brand story in new ways, and how to manage networking in a virtual world.
Brand Building in Crisis Part Two
Open to view video.
Open to view video. View part two of the recording of a live webinar presented on April 6, 2020, featuring marketing experts Christine Abbate, Kate Verner, and Leena Jain. Part Two is 22 minutes long and includes the audience Q&A component of the live webinar.