“Necessity is the mother of invention” – Albert Einstein
It’s no surprise that in this time of crisis many brands are re-evaluating their next steps. For many, the conversation is on how they can hold out until this passes, but what about the interim? While the norm has disappeared for many brands, their audiences have not. Both are having to undergo substantial reimagining to meet the challenges of today’s reality, making innovation the tool of the hour.
So how do we respond with purpose in a crisis?
The brands getting the tone right are those that show a united front and are able to try to re-establish some level of conscientious convenience or normality.
A brand thriving with purpose
3M is a key manufacturer of vital medical equipment required for COVID-19 prevention and treatment, from face masks to ventilators. Naturally that’s meant the demand for their products has far exceeded that of its normal capabilities and has led to shortages. Rising to the challenge, they partnered with Ford and Cummins to upskill their currently stalled factories to help meet demand. That, along with prioritising health care orders, providing a price gouging reporting system and focusing the resource they do have on products that will help during this crisis, has made them a recognisable force for good over profit during these times.
Repurposing key functionality for a new cause
Open Table, a restaurant booking vehicle, has all but ground to a halt given the worldwide lockdowns taking place. However, they’ve found a way to repurpose their tech to still be of service. They have been working in partnership with grocery stores in Los Angeles & San Francisco to reserve shopping times that will reduce long queues, overcrowding and help maintain social distancing when food shopping.
The Faroe Islands has a unique take on encouraging tourists to keep them front of mind when we are free to travel again. They have created a remote tourism tool which allows users to explore the islands through the eyes of a local and actually control the movements of the local in real time. They are planning ahead for when tourism experiences an inevitable boom and offering something free in the interim to peak interest and offer travel adventures from home.
Now more than ever, consumers want to see the humanity behind the brand and they want it to be tangible and reliable, anything else is a distraction they don’t have the head space to indulge.
The push into isolation has left us with the urge to do the exact opposite – form communities to hold close what’s important and keep the hysteria at bay. Within these communities, brands have an opportunity to embody the ethics that sit in their taglines in a way that will leave a sincere lasting impression in a period of need because after all, we’re in this together.
So now is the time to ask yourself, is your brand a part of the solution or the noise?
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