Written by Angel Fletcher-Penfold • Published 20th March 2020 • 4 minute read

Coronavirus has completely thrown modern life’s corporate routines out the window. The threat of the virus has brought both the best and worst out of humankind, but we want to highlight the positive ways in which brands have shown their softer side and given back to their consumers during this difficult time.

Let’s kick off with Pret’s discount to all NHS staff. Large coffee shop chains often receive heavy criticism for dominating the high street and overcharging, so it is nice to see Pret making a small ‘thank you’ gesture to our hardworking medical staff.

Chelsea FC have taken an even bigger stand to thank our NHS staff, by opening up their hotel at Stanford Bridge. NHS staff are able to stay at the Millennium hotel for free with costs being covered by Roman Abramovich. This will be welcomed by those NHS staff who struggle to get back home after late night shifts and for those who have family members with Coronavirus symptoms, as they can now continue their vital work.

Supermarkets have been heavily documented during this crisis, as social media users have posted their outrage at the empty shelves. There has been a growing concern for the elderly who often cannot afford to bulk buy and shopping trips can be a very much needed social outlet for them. In response, Iceland stores have been dedicating 8-9am exclusively to elderly customers to help them beat the rush. Sainsbury’s have also announced they are offering the first hour of their trading day to the elderly and disabled, with Tesco’s following suit.

As more and more of us have been adjusting to working from home and with the prospect of lockdown looming, our physical health has been a point of conversation. To help, Reebok have offered to tailor a workout for users depending on the home equipment they use. This has involved a lot of community management for Reebok’s social media team and they have done a brilliant job – especially within the 280-character limit! We are all likely to up our screen time during this isolating period and this demonstrates how brands can interact with their consumers directly.

Our mental health is equally important during isolation and we’ve all heard the benefits of music for our mental wellbeing. As many stars have had to cancel tours and appearances, Coldplay’s Chris Martin and John Legend have both held live social media performances using the hashtag #TogetherAtHome, to show music will always be there to raise our spirits.

 

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Chris played a mini gig at home earlier today on IG Live. @glblctzn @WHO @JohnLegend #TogetherAtHome

A post shared by Coldplay🌙☀️ (@coldplay) on

Instagram Live sessions give users the chance to comment live and interact with the stars, creating a sense of community. Furthermore, seeing stars take social distancing seriously is likely to influence a lot of their fans to do the same.

The future is uncertain, and brands are having to adapt and be creative to raise morale. It’s a stressful time for us all as the world adjusts to this pandemic but it is wonderful to see brands and celebrities banding together with their fans and consumers to create something positive.