Covid-19: From Purpose to Pivot.

7th April 2020

By Florence Papougnot

Covid-19 is forcing brands to adapt and react like never before. For some, it’s a matter of putting their money where their mouth is, whilst for others, it’s a case of innovation and design. We take a look at the ways brands have positively responded to the crisis.

 

Purpose

It has been refreshing to see household names not just talking about their ‘purpose’ and values, but putting them into action.

Those who claim to care for their communities, customers and environments are being put to the test and are (for the most part) successfully demonstrating that philosophy through acts of kindness and compassion. There’s never been a more pressing time to make that purpose count.

First in its class, we saw Pret take rapid and decisive action by offering free hot drinks to NHS workers and a 50% discount on all other products.

Supermarket giant Morrisons has pledged to restock the UK’s struggling food banks by running its bakery, fruit, and veg departments for an extra hour every day. A gesture that stands true to its commitment of “feeding the nation”.

Meanwhile in the car industry, Land Rover is deploying a fleet of new Defender vehicles to bolster the emergency services in hard-to-reach areas.

 

Pivot

Equally as refreshing to witness are the brands reviewing their capabilities entirely to see what could be hacked and repurposed… the pivot.

Brands across the world are re-imagining how they use their factories, staff, and delivery capabilities to lend a helping hand. No easy feat.

We’ve seen the height of luxury, LVMH, turning its production lines from handbags to hand sanitisers.

British engineering giant Dyson has invented a new ventilator, which can be manufactured quickly and at volume to address the shortage of these lifesaving devices.

Whilst New Balance pivots from making trainers to face masks – at a rate of 100,000 a week – in an attempt to try and meet the widespread demand for personal protective equipment (PPE).

 

Brands can make a difference – and in some cases – have a duty to. Those who react quickly to changing markets in order to offer something that helps save jobs, lives and communities will fare well in consumer opinion.

But above generating the positive headlines we’re all craving right now, any action needs to be undertaken for the right reasons – to be helpful rather than profiteering.

Ultimately, when done with these values in mind, the generosity and genuine support shown by brands will be remembered long after we’ve returned to the high street.