With regular life severely uprooted for the time being, consumers are seeking a greater good to connect with and support.
Social media is now flooded with images of people, small businesses, and corporations alike doing good. Restaurants have turned their kitchens over to preparing meals for frontline health workers. Dyson is working to produce their own respirators, hoping to ship 15,000 to NHS in the UK and to partners in the US. But one of the most striking images is of the petits mains of Dior, the venerated keepers of the craft of haute couture, sitting in their white coats, hand-stitching masks for doctors, instead of the fantastical creations they are used to sewing. Every company that is able to manufacture a useful good or raise money to fight the pandemic is doing so. But where does your brand fit in?
Look to the examples of brands that are taking their signature elements and turning them into something useful for this moment. Nike is rallying to get all athletes off their couch and to play for the world — not only are they helping people to get active while stuck indoors, but they are fostering a sense of community. Jameson Whiskey recognized the losses of their clients, the professional bartenders who couldn’t work on St. Patrick’s Day — one of their biggest days of the year — and pledged $500,000 to the United States Bartenders Guild. Gap, Inc. is using their massive factory apparatus to create the much-needed personal protective equipment (PPE) for healthcare workers, from masks to gowns.
Right now, consumers are inundated with news, ranging from unsettling to horrifying. It’s a moment when brands can rise above the fray and show their inner mettle and commitment to something larger than themselves. A brand can take its core premise and turn it around to help others. It’s a rare moment in modern history when the entire world is experiencing the same problems at the same time. And in a post-COVID-19 world, how brands respond is how they will be judged.
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