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.
This one is on us 💚 pic.twitter.com/gDLiZEuQi7
— Pret (@Pret) March 18, 2020
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.
Chelsea Football Club is joining the medical response to the coronavirus outbreak in London with the news the National Health Service (NHS) has accepted the Club’s offer to make the Millennium Hotel at Stamford Bridge available for NHS staff… https://t.co/eENBcxRXXX
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) March 18, 2020
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.
We have listened to feedback from you and from Sainsbury’s colleagues across the country and wanted to share some of the extra steps we are taking to make sure everyone has access to the items that they need pic.twitter.com/jRoCLm6CXt
— Sainsbury’s (@sainsburys) March 18, 2020
We really appreciate the response to our priority store opening hours for the elderly and vulnerable, but it has highlighted the need for us to do more.
The first hour of opening will now be dedicated to elderly and vulnerable people every day.
Our full update is below. pic.twitter.com/E5UHXuUqow
— Iceland Foods ❄️ (@IcelandFoods) March 18, 2020
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.
Stay healthy while working from home! Tell us what at-home equipment you have and we’ll customize a workout you can do from the comfort of your living room.💪
— Reebok (@Reebok) March 13, 2020
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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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.
Social distancing is important, but it doesn’t have to be boring. @miguel @charlieputh – you want next?
Learn about actions you can take to help slow the spread of coronavirus with our partners at @WHO and @GlblCtzn https://t.co/uDs3G7kO7B #TogetherAtHome https://t.co/fHkBbsF8e6
— John Legend (@johnlegend) March 18, 2020
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.