April 14, 2020| Branding

Brand efforts during COVID-19 crisis

The communication to customers in a crisis is key

The way brands position their message during the COVID-19 crisis is more important than ever before.

There are plenty of ways for brands to find an opportunity during this crisis, nevertheless communication needs to be empathetic, authentic and human. In this uncertain times honesty and transparency are essential and you may even want to invite a dialogue with your customers.

Setting the wrong tone, even by accident, may be perceived as not being able to comprehend or undermine the scope of the crisis, which will be remembered by (potential) customers.

Show that you take action in supporting the community during this pandemic

When possible for the business to take specific actions during these challenging times will be received as extremely positive and makes them live up to their brand and core values in a very compassionate way.

© Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory
Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, Canada

I’m extremely proud to mention this company that I recently started working together with. Rocky Mountain donated CA$500,000 worth of handcrafted chocolate across Canada to non-profit organizations, frontline health care workers, food banks, and community groups.

© Christian Dior
LVMH, France

With Europe being strongly affected by the virus the giant group LVMH became extremely engaged in the fight against COVID-19. They switched their factory productions from famous fragrances of Dior, Guerlain and Givenchy to make hand sanitizer gel for hospitals.

Louis Vuitton, as well as Dior manufacture non-medical masks in their workshops.
The jewellery brand Fred donates 20% of its online sales to the initiative “Visières de l’Espoir”, which uses 3D printing to produce face shields for hospital medical staff.

© Nike
Nike, USA

Nike has also been extremely committed to give back during those hard times, not only by donating $1.6 million to eg. humanitarian organizations, medical care, food banks, but also by making use of their innovative know-how. In collaboration with the Oregon Health & Science University they developed Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) in the form of full-face shields with air-purifying respirator (PAPR) lenses to protect against the coronavirus.
The aspiration was to create a PPE in the most simple way (9-step process) and making use of available material, such as Nike’s collar paddings for footwear and cords for apparel.

Small businesses around the world

Apart from naming some of the most well-known brands it shouldn’t be unsaid here, that there are numerous small businesses- that might even struggle themselves- but are relentless in offering their know-how, skill, production facilities to provide masks, hand sanitizers etc. to support their communities! Those do a fantastic job and are an incredible inspiration!

Offer a gift of value to members & nonmembers

Offer discounts to show that you value and appreciate their business.
Be flexible with your customer and maybe even offer special rates. To name a few: in the fitness sector some offer free work out classes, mobile companies provide unlimited data for free or wave late fees, insurance companies reduct their rates for their contracts.

Shift the focus of your business

If the business allows, delivery might be the way to go. Finding creative ways to keep it running within a safe distance, while providing customers with what they might need/want.
Take Dunkin Donuts for example they more or less launched a specific loyalty program giving extra bonus points for pre-ordering or free delivery for getting your order right to your door steps.
Moreover, there has also been an exclamation of communities to “support your local businesses”, making people aware to buy locally helping especially smaller ones to prevent them from their struggles or having them to shut down completely.

Stay timely and updated

As we all are faced with an unprecedented situation, it is utterly important to keep up to date with recent developments. Adapt to safety & health measurements that need to be taken and keep your your customers informed about any changes. As customers are getting used to the current situation you also want to calm they fears and concerns. So, businesses need to show that they are managing and navigating through the crisis and are with them every step of the way. Be serious, on point and don’t create any false hopes.