2 April 2020

How Brands Are Responding Positively to the Crisis and What We Can Learn

The COVID-19 pandemic has been completely unpredictable, with a new reality emerging every few minutes.

Yet the one thing that has been totally predictable (for us optimists), is humanity’s ability to face adversity with strength. Find reasons to smile when there a million reasons to not. And respond positively in a time of crisis.

Although there have been myriad positive reactions from brands, we’ve plucked out a few specific examples of inventive, swift responses to the new reality.


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1. Lush

Although now only operating online, Lush initially invited passers-by to come in and wash their hands for free. We know that consistent hand washing is key to preventing the spread of the virus, and with hand sanitizer in short supply, this was a great solution.

2. Supermarkets

Supermarkets like Woolworths have input measures to help the sick and the elderly. Dedicating certain times when they can do their grocery shop in the safest conditions helps protect those who are the most vulnerable.


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3. Netflix Party

Netflix has quickly developed an extension for Chrome called Netflix Party so you can watch your favourite shows and movies at the same time as friends. It’s another way to connect, and you don’t have to share snacks!


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4. Mr Yum

Mr Yum is a food delivery app that’s supporting local businesses that aren’t on the main apps, slashing the percentage commission they take, and hiring out-of-work hospo staff as drivers. It’s where tech and compassion collide.

So, what can we learn from these responses?

Inventiveness is Rewarded

Like any response during this time, speed trumps perfection.

The above decisions were swiftly made and executed quickly enough to actually make an impact. Without the typical weeks of planning and layers of bureaucracy that brands are used to, we’ve seen that inventive solutions are able to get off the ground so much faster—like the new supermarket times or offering free hand washing.

Many brands have probably found they’re producing some of their best ideas in response to these new problems, so run with it!

Being Online is Vital

If you weren’t before, now you definitely need to be a digital brand.


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Adopting strategies that transform your offering for online use will be key during this time. Think of how gyms have pivoted to online classes, restaurants that now have delivery, DJ sets live-streamed on Instagram. There’s no choice but to adapt as an online brand.

The good news is that social media is an incredible tool for maintaining connection, and that includes connecting with your consumers directly. Use this time to connect online, present your best website and social feeds, and refine your messaging.

Inboxes Can be Friendly Places

We’ve come to love some of the newsletters we’ve been receiving!

Who knew that the humble inbox, usually fraught with deadlines and anxiety-inducing workflow, could actually be a place of positivity? We’ve found many brands have taken to email to share valuable resource lists, WFH idea compilations, links to good reads and other clickable delights.


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We learned about Mr Yum through Broadsheet’s newsletter, have found inspiration from Frankie, and plenty of tips from Collective Hub.

Email marketing can be a really powerful, positive tool to share your response during a crisis. Plus, we’ve been happy to receive some great offers for online shopping. Which leads us into the next point.

Advertising Doesn’t Need to Stop

Offering discounts, deals, or other benefits to your consumers can absolutely be positive.

It’s not insensitive to be advertising at this time, especially if your offering will genuinely benefit your audience. Whether that’s online workout routines, local businesses asking for support, free shipping or a flash sale, the truth of it is, we want to know!

So just remember that yes, there are more important things happening in the world, and your advertising should absolutely not make light of the situation, but that doesn’t mean people don’t want to hear about it. Online shopping is one of the few joys at the moment. Make it a positive experience.

Positivity Breeds Positivity

The more we all share inspiring, positive and even funny content, the more we perpetuate a good attitude.

We’re not simply saying look on the bright side. It’s vital to be realistic and informed. We’re saying during this time we can also be delighted and entertained.

Next time you’re about to put something into the world, ask what impact is this going to have? If it’s going to help people, make them laugh, give them something to do, share away! If it’s not, leave it out.

We’ve been channelling this idea to generate positivity, especially on our socials. The final thing we’ve learned? A sense of humour goes a long way.

For branding by Bellman

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