No one could’ve predicted the ongoing pandemic that has walloped nearly every community—and the economy. But, in spite of the unforeseen hit, some brands appear to have managed and mitigated the COVID-19 crisis better than others. How have they done it? Let’s take a look.
Few industries have been battered as badly by the pandemic than the hospitality industry. And few brands have had to adapt as impossibly to our new global reality as Airbnb. The tech titan has refunded $1 billion to hosts and travelers who booked and canceled trips due to COVID-19. (Hotels.com gets higher marks in this regard.) Meanwhile, Airbnb has raised a similar amount of financing to weather the fallout, enabling the company, in part, not only to take care of hosts and guests, but its employees as well, particularly those furloughed.
The largest auto repair services provider in the country also is one of the most purpose-driven. But Restoring the Rhythm of Your Life® takes on a whole new dimension when frontline workers suddenly become our indespendible frontline heroes.
On the heels of the Coronavirus outbreak, and subsequent wide-scale shutdown, in the U.S., Caliber launched its Restoring You program for medical and first responders whose crucial work means they cannot shelter-in-place as many of us are able to (and still do). Stay-at-home orders that exempted “essential workers” meant they were still out on the road, with some in need of auto repair services. Caliber’s Restoring You program therefore offered deductible assistance and contactless pickup and delivery of vehicles—a win-win for all parties.
Cottonelle (Kimberly Clark)
Many of us this spring may have have witnessed the Coronavirus-fueled mad dash to stock up on paper products, chief among them toilet paper. (Which, incidentally, is odd considering that it doesn’t exactly come in handy for any of the common symptoms of COVID-19.) With store-imposed limits on individual purposes due to sudden shortages, toilet paper brands kicked into high gear not only to resupply out-of-stock shelves but also to address larger community needs. Take Cottonelle, for one.
The brand pledged $1 million and one million rolls of toilet paper to United Way Worldwide’s COVID-19 Community Response and Recovery Fund. On social media, for everyone who used the hashtag #ShareASquare, the brand pledged to donate an additional $1 (up to $100,000). Thus, in so doing, Cottonelle demonstrated a commitment to customers and the community.
The iconic automaker, which recently made waves with the re-introduction of its forthcoming, sorely missed Bronco truck line, has been praised for deftly pivoting during the Coronavirus. Given that the century-old company has experienced its share of ups and downs (both inside and out), this is not surprising. But, as its ‘Built to Lend a Hand’ and ‘Built for Right Now’ ads convey, brands have to deliver more than just “We’re in this together”-style lip service.
For Ford’s part, the company got quickly down to work manufacturing medical equipment in short supply, while leading the charge in assisting consumers faced with financial hardships via its Ford Credit payment relief program.
Prêt à Manger
Across the pond, the U.K.-based international food chain took swift action in the response to the coronavirus, restricting its restaurants to take-out only. And, despite more recent setbacks, the chain has partnered with delivery services while preparing to launch an “order ahead” option. But the chain’s generous offers (such as free hot drinks and 50% off all other products) to Britain’s National Health Service employees are what has proven to be a real standout—putting your money where your mouth is, as it were.
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