What Brands Are Doing in Response to COVID-19

It’s difficult not to get consumed by the negative impact of this pandemic. But from all of the sadness and loss there has also come generosity, unity, and creativity. We wanted to highlight the wonderful, positive things that some of our favorite brands are doing in response to COVID-19. At such a challenging time, it is important to focus on the things we can control and actions we can take to come out the other side even stronger, together — these brands are doing just that.  

Giving Back: 

It has been heartwarming to see so many brands step up to give back to the community where they can. Companies like Crocs and Allbirds are offering free shoes to those in healthcare, as a thank you for all of their hard work. Another way retailers are doing this is by donating a certain amount (say $10 from every order of $150, or 20% of all profits of a certain line) from customer purchases to different COVID-19 relief charities. This is not only an act of generosity, but also incentivizes consumers to make a purchase in a time where they may be wary to shop. Customers tend to spend time and money with brands they feel connected to. In fact, 13% of consumers would pay 31-50% more for your products or services if they were under the impression that your business is making a positive impact on the world (Customer Thermometer). 

Lastly, and one of my personal favorites, are the brands that have halted production of their usual line of business to put their resources toward helping the COVID-19 relief efforts. For example, in response to the shortage of hand sanitizer, LVMH announced they will use their factories that normally produce makeup, to produce hand sanitizer and deliver large quantities free of charge to health authorities. No branding, no special catch – just using their resources in an attempt to help where they can. 

Getting Creative:

In addition to giving back, we have been watching brands get creative in the way they interact with their customers. Face-to-face is no longer an option, which has led many brands to rely on mobile and digital channels. However, with everyone doing that, it takes a lot for brands to stand out. Two brands that get a shoutout in this department are Honeygrow and Starbucks. 

Honeygrow launched an Instagram contest called #honeygrowathome, where they are asking for customers to post their most unique activity they have done while staying home and tag them. They will pick 12 winners to receive $100 credit to the Honeygrow app. That is a lot of stir fry! Sign me up. 

Honeygrow knows everyone is looking for stay at home activities, so why not do that with a simple social media challenge to not only get brand exposure, but also give customers a chance to earn some free lunches?

Similarly, Starbucks released “Starland” which gives customers a chance to earn their stars at home since we can’t stop by a physical location  for that coffee on our typical morning commute. How does it work? Participants catch stars to earn a raffle ticket or instant prize. If you want to keep playing, you’re free to use your Starbucks Card or App to catch some more. Prizes include free Starbucks for a year, or 15,000 stars. 

Breaking down barriers: 

Brands are generously cutting usual delivery and shipping fees, offering curb-side pickup, and even offering their products and services for free in some cases. 

Pharmacies like CVS and Walgreens are offering free delivery on prescriptions, a big help to everyone. Additionally, retailers like Gamestop have remained open but instituted their own “Delivery@Door” for customers, allowing them to place orders online and pick up outside their local store, knowing people are looking for games and activities right now. Many other brands, whether they be retailers or restaurants, are offering free delivery and special offers in an attempt to take down any additional barriers between them and the consumer. From scanning my personal inbox, I have messages from Gap, American Eagle, Sweetgreen, DSW, The Loft, many local Boston restaurants, and more.

Lastly, many fitness and wellness brands have waived their monthly fees to allow free access to their classes, knowing we are all turning our living rooms into temporary gyms. From larger corporations like Peloton, who’s offering their app 90 days free, to small business fitness companies, who are still making it work by offering virtual classes for free, or at a much lower cost (shoutout to Savin Hill Fitness!). Being flexible and providing a positive outlet that consumers need during this time will be something they will remember and be thankful for.

Checking in: 

Last, but not least, brands are checking in with their customers. We are all in this together, and two brands that have done a good job at acknowledging that are Chipotle and Reebok. Chipotle posted on Twitter recently, “There’s a lot going on rn. If anyone wants to hang we’re going live on Zoom here” giving their customers a chance to connect at a time many feel alone. 

In a different light, Rebook took the approach of giving their customers and followers on Instagram #PermissionToPause, because let’s face it, work from home can mean more screen time. While consumers are scrolling through their feed, Reebok is taking the opportunity to acknowledge it is okay to take a break, or to encourage followers to take a deep breath–a reminder a lot of people need right now. 

We hope these brands’ acts of kindness and humanity are the jolt of positivity you needed today. We know there are more to come!