Elephants’ pick: 5 inspiring brand responses to the coronavirus pandemic

Over the past couple of months, we have witnessed a flurry of creative initiates from big and small businesses as they adapt agile practices in order to keep up with changing times and remain helpful to consumers. 

With non-essential stores and venues closed, limited distribution channels and consumers at home, businesses are having to reassess how they engage with and help their audiences in a way that feels credible for their brand. 

Here are just some of the brands that have stood out to us during this period.

Morrisons

During our COVID-19 Consumer Attitudes & Behaviour research groups, this brand came up time and time again as going above and beyond for their customers and the wider community. 

Although all supermarkets were viewed in a positive light for putting initiatives in place to help alleviate the stresses of shopping during lockdown, Morrisons appears to have taken the crown for their emphasis on community. 

Notable praises were for their click and collect options for those who felt more vulnerable, using their canteens to make lunches for NHS staff, and donating Easter eggs to the children of key workers.

Monica + Andy

Monica + Andy, a brand specialising in organic cotton baby products, has taken a three-pronged approach in their response to the pandemic. 

Firstly, the brand has temporarily lowered their prices to ensure they continue to be accessible to their consumers during these times of economic uncertainty. Secondly, the brand is donating their products to those in need and those on the front lines, beginning with nurses who are parents. Finally, Monica + Andy has included a new page on its website which is dedicated to providing support and guidance to expecting parents during the pandemic. 

These steps underline the brand’s clear concern and care for their consumers, which will not go unnoticed by them. 

Joe Wicks

We couldn’t really write this article without mentioning the Nation’s PE teacher. Having already built a hugely successful personal fitness brand, Joe Wicks had been touring the country with the aim of changing the way the education system treats exercise, and to get children engaged with it. Just call him the Jamie Oliver of PE. 

When schools closed, he didn’t miss a beat, and quickly offered free daily PE lessons to everyone on his YouTube channel. Over 1 million people have now livestreamed his classes, from families to adults alike and he has become a household name all over the UK. 

For many it has become a vital part of their daily routine which is helping them to navigate the stresses and challenges of lockdown. It truly is a prime example of how one individual can use their personal brand and expertise to make a massive difference. 

BBC

Although the BBC have faced criticism for their coverage of the ongoing pandemic, we wanted to celebrate their ‘SERIOUSLY, STAY AT HOME’ campaign. Using clips from iconic shows, the BBC have used humour and creativity to land serious messages throughout lockdown. 

A great example of using your brand’s resources to help in whatever small way you can, even if that is just by bringing a smile to people’s faces during tough times. Another notable mention is Channel 4’s ‘JUST BUTTS public message. 

The Book Hive

Finally, this independent bookstore caught our eye for its innovative Isolation Book Pack. A key benefit of purchasing books from independent bookstores has always been the people who work there and their knowledge of literature. When you visit one of these stores you know that you will discover something new based on the staff’s advice.

With lockdown in place, many have missed this sense of discovery and small retailers have suffered as consumers turn to Amazon for their book fix. In response The Book Hive have created an isolation package whereby you can answer a short questionnaire on your reading preferences, and for a set price they will hand select a collection of books that they think you will enjoy reading. 

A great idea that enables consumers to escape the stresses of life in the pages of a good book, whilst supporting a small business and authors. Agility at its finest!

The Herd

22.05.20