A look at how some brands are responding to Covid-19.

2 April 2020

Covid-19 and its subsequent cultural impact is the biggest challenge facing brands and business in generations. The shutdown of the high street has sent ripples down the supply chain, while pulling the shutters down on our OOH and dining/drink establishments has put many businesses in jeopardy.

There’s no doubt that the impact of the next few months will have a lasting legacy. And so will the actions taken by brands. Consumers aren’t expecting a solution to all the worlds ails, but we’ve seen several brands really rise to the occasion. Offering smart, helpful and effective ideas that benefit people during these unprecedented times. Communicated in the right way, these can really boost the social proofing of a brand, putting them in a strong position once we return to something nearing ‘normal’. Here are some of our favourite examples of brands going the extra mile from the last week:

While we’re not popping for a post-work pint any time soon, once the landlords across the nation open their doors again, it’s likely that Brewdog will be on the first stop for many. And that’s because the brewer announced that it was making hand sanitiser at its distillery in Aberdeenshire, giving it away for free to those who need it. A bold and generous move that created a wave of positive coverage across national press and social media.

New Balance offered a similar solution, changing their production setup in order to create face masks for the US. Announced alongside a simple and effective social graphic, the firm stated that it was using its expertise and resources to support the significant demand for masks.

The grocery sector has been buoyed with British consumers making more than 79 million trips in the past four weeks, although this has brought several pressures on staffing and the supply chain. Morrisons has been on the front foot thanks to clear and frequent communication on social media, as well as some smart initiatives. Launching new simple-to-order food parcels, creating 3,500 new jobs and committing to paying all small suppliers immediately, the supermarket also pledged £10m worth of food to the UK’s food banks, producing more fresh items specifically for this purpose.

Oatly has established itself as a household name in the past 12 months, largely in thanks to some very clever advertising comms. It’s familiar down-to-earth and to-the-point tone of voice was once again on display as the brand reassured consumers, via its social channels, that production of the oat milk was running as normal. The posts also reiterated that people need not ‘panic-buy’ products, tapping into the community ‘we’re all in this together’ spirit that we have seen over the last couple of weeks.

From the big to small responses, not every brand will be able to help in the same way. What people do want to see though is that the brands they love are genuinely trying to help during these trying times, not just jump on the bandwagon. By being open, honest and helpful where they can, brands that get it right, will see the benefits of consumer goodwill further down the line.

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