The Part Brands Have to Play in the Coronavirus Crisis

COVID-19 Presents Opportunity for Brands to Lead Through Crisis

In a recent interview with Dezeen, trend forecaster Li Edelkoort declared the Coronavirus offers “a blank page for a new beginning,” where we embark on a “quarantine of consumption” that will ultimately build “an alternative and profoundly different world”.

It’s a bold statement, and one that promises change. While there’s no doubt the world is about to undergo change, economically and logistically, what part do brands play in bettering the world and what should they be doing to ready themselves for the future?

A Moment For Moral Leadership

While some organizations are quick to put their interests above society, this is a moment for moral leadership. By engaging like a challenger brand, you can make an impact that’s meaningful, memorable and works towards a better future for both people and planet.

We’re currently in a time when customers are looking to brands for guidance. Back in 2016 it was found that 65% of consumers feel businesses bear as much responsibility as governments for driving social change and more recently, a 2020 survey conducted by Morning Consult found people have more trust in Amazon and Google to do what’s right than they do teachers, police officers, news agencies and the government. Customers are looking to brands for guidance on morals and ethics and, in the coronavirus crisis, they expect these brands to commit to meaningful, authentic, long-term solutions.

A number of brands are already aligning themselves with this thinking. On March 3rd, with more employees, students and students working remotely, Google began rolling out free access to their advanced Hangouts Meet video-conferencing tool, allowing larger meetings and streams. As a service that would typically cost, it’s a commitment consumers want to see during a testing period.

It followed a similar move from Zoom, who lifted their standard free 40-minute limit imposed on meetings with more than two participants. “It’s my responsibility as Zoom’s CEO – and Zoom’s unique responsibility as a company – to do everything in our power to support those impacted by the coronavirus outbreak by committing our reliable technology, expanded access and agile customer services,” said Zoom’s CEO Eric Yuan in a statement.

Cosmetic brand Lush is another, and has started inviting people from high streets across the UK to wash their hands in-store without feeling obligated to purchase product. It’s subtle, but also a step in the right direction.

As the coronavirus situation continues to unfold, so too will customer expectation. Don’t use a moment like this to cash in on quick capitalism. Rather, build a business for better, and a brand people will look back on and appreciate when the crisis has passed.

If you enjoyed our post, The Part Brands Have To Play In The Coronavirus Crisis, check out What Is A Challenger Brand? 


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