The coronavirus pandemic is truly unprecedented. Its ripple effects are being felt in every aspect of the business world, causing small and large companies alike to reassess who they are and how they engage at the most fundamental level.
It’s a confounding time for brands. Not only are many struggling financially as consumer spending tapers, they’re also grappling with the right ways to engage without coming off as exploitative or tone deaf, all while navigating the massive online migration of their entire business. The challenges posed in this crisis are undeniably difficult to overcome, however there are ways for brands to prevail amidst the uncertainty.
The current circumstance might actually offer brands an opportunity to provide more meaningful value to customers than ever before—connecting through purpose and shared values while also proving their agility, ingenuity and resilient character.
While it is a time for brands to put themselves out there, it’s not a time to go too far out of their comfort zone. The key to successfully weathering the storm and emerging on the other side stronger than before largely relies on ensuring your brand can extend the activation of its core purpose in a way that solves a new, relevant customer tension without feeling disconnected or disingenuous. Keep in mind that it should be more about reinvigorating your brand efforts, rather than completely reinventing them.
Under Armour is helping fitness fans stay active while in quarantine by launching a 30-day “Healthy at Home” challenge.
Saturday Night Live launched their first online episode focused on the normalization of remote work, using humor to commiserate with audiences while creating a sense of community and solidarity.
Deliveroo announced a 15-20% reduction in commission fees and delayed commission payments for restaurants in an effort to support them as the flow dine-in customers comes to a halt.
IKEA leveraged its positioning of “bringing joy into the home” along with their DIY philosophy and cheeky persona to bring relief through “The Love Collection” campaign to those quarantined alone at home.
Alibaba grocery chain Hema Fresh hired offline restaurant staff creating a “shared employee” model. Approximately 2,700 employees affected were able to obtain a job with Hema Fresh.
Nike, extending its core purpose around empowering the athlete in all of us, released a new campaign to champion social distancing.
Microsoft, leaning on its position as a trusted tech leader, partnered with the CDC to create a chatbot aimed at helping answer people’s questions about the coronavirus.
A lot of what brands do in the coming weeks, months and even year may feel like a temporary strategy. But the short-term strategies brands employ today are likely going to define how they exist tomorrow. Those who are able to rise to the challenge and make meaningful adjustments—who can view this time of crisis through the lens of opportunity rather than chaos—can expect to not only survive the current times, but thrive once our world emerges on the other side of the pandemic.
In other words, use this time to not just communicate your purpose, but action it. To lift communities up rather than put your competitors down. And to leverage your power and influence in a way that makes a meaningful impact beyond personal profit.
To learn more about how brands are reacting to COVID-19 and the strategies they can use to strengthen their relationship with customers and their communities, register for BrandJuice’s New Brand Realities webinar on April 30th.