We all know it’s a challenging time, there is no need for me to build on that. It’s also worth pointing out that this isn’t an attempt at an opportunistic chance to convey that we have the answers, as like everyone, we don’t really. What we do have though, is an optimistic posture, and spirit of openness; and as we all keep learning how our businesses, our lives, and the world are changing on a daily basis, we wanted to share a few positive brand reactions from around the world.
1. Brand Acts Are More Powerful Than Words
Globally we see communities looking for guidance and support. This should be the number one challenge for any brand at the moment; specifically how can they creatively drive purpose through their business to be a community leader. Seeing what LVMH did in France last week when it changed its perfume production to producing hand sanitiser, how Woolies have stepped up twice in the last week with aged-care opening hours and offering jobs to people affected by Qantas’ business challenges, to a number of UK hotel chains offering their bed space up as extra hospital space, is inspiring. These are true brand commitments to the communities they live in, and should be what marketers are asking their creative partners to help them think about at this moment.
2. Brand Sincerity Is The Most Valuable Attribute
Obviously, an instant recession is having a negative impact on the economy but a lot of businesses are becoming more important in these challenging times, and demand is higher than ever. Amazon in the US is on a hiring spree, the gig economy globally, led by food delivery services such as Deliveroo and UberEats, is busy, and the world has never streamed as much Netflix, with 14 day-quarantine playlists doing the rounds. What is most important in a profiteering moment is to be supportive and genuine in how you can help others, and to be clear in messaging about what you are doing and why. A small example is how Guzman Y Gomez has waived delivery fees for the next two weeks as more people stay at home.
3. Brand Creativity Is What Consumers Need
As we all ask ourselves the question of ‘what should our business?’ do in a moment like this, it’s sometimes easy to forget that people want a bit of normality and a distraction. Brands bringing Creativity to this moment, and even, dare I say, a feeling of Play, is key. PornHub in Europe giving away premium content for free during this period has been a polarising, but potentially very creative way, to look at the lockdown; while Signature Brew in the UK, creating a Pub in A Box to enjoy at home, with beer, pub quiz and vinyl record, is an optimistic solution at a moment when their consumers need it. As I said, this is by no means an exhaustive perspective, but as we all keep learning, it feels important to keep sharing.