With everything going on in the current climate, it’s tough to stand above all the noise. It’s crucial to understand that during difficult times such as this, actions that are taken clearly define brands and leaders. Those that support and hold up people in times of need will see reputations elevated. Anything short of that and it’s likely brand sentiment will suffer.
It’s always a good idea to study the people doing things right to derive inspiration. In light of that, here are a handful of brands winning at marketing right now, and how they’re doing it:
State Farm: To help customers that are out of work and staying home, the insurance company is offering money-back between March and May. In total, the company is returning up to $2 billion to policyholders across 40 million vehicle policies.
Walgreens: Utilizing the brand’s Ask a Pharmacist educational series, the company released informative and helpful videos about COVID-19. Many of the videos answer common questions people have about the virus and go a long way to assuage fears and concerns.
Trello: To help teachers, instructors, and educators, the company announced it’s offering a year of Business-class subscriptions for free. Anyone working in K-12 or higher education channels can take advantage of the offer.
Johnson & Johnson: The company has donated loads of money to support frontline healthcare workers, including $250 million in January, and another $50 million more recently.
Harbor Freight: The company donated its entire supply of personal protective equipment — including N95 masks — to hospitals and healthcare professionals on the front lines. It benefits everyone and keeps our healthcare workers safer and healthier during the crisis.
Orchid: The US-based VPN provider is offering free access to its service for journalists with press credentials and proof of status, regardless of current geographical location. The idea is to protect and support journalists reporting on current events, especially in areas where a VPN might be life-changing.
L’Oreal Paris: Known for its beauty products, the company has swapped to making hand sanitizer for the current crisis. Not only that, but it’s also donating the supply to hospitals, care homes, and pharmacies across Europe, for free. The company has also made several monetary donations to the cause to the tune of 1 million Euro.
Starbucks: Not only is the company offering expanded health benefits to its associates, but it’s now providing access to 20 therapy sessions for all US-based employees and their eligible family members.
Crocs: The popular shoe brand launched a campaign, “Sharing a Free Pair for Healthcare,” that offers free pairs of shoes to healthcare workers on the front lines. They’re also getting free shipping as a part of the deal. Plus, the company is donating 100,000 pairs of shoes to select healthcare facilities across the nation.
Moreover, many small and local distilleries have swapped to developing hand sanitizer and personal protective equipment, and they’re donating provisions to hospitals and those in need. Automakers like GM, Ford, and Tesla are making respirators to help with the shortage. Other companies are either offering free services or extended support to improve stay-at-home conditions.
What Are You Doing?
The key takeaway from many of these examples is that the companies gaining the most respect and support are not only responsible but giving back in some way to their local communities. People need love and support in these difficult times, including from the brands and businesses they trust most.
At the very least, this highlights a powerful and long-known playbook that’s always been a part of modern marketing. Supporting customers — in whatever form that may take — will have the biggest impact overall on brand sentiment, reputation, and loyalty.
What are you doing right now to define your brand?