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Brands getting it right during the global pandemic.

In this extraordinary situation, nailing your brand positioning is absolutely vital for business resilience.

However, over 50% of brands are currently considering delaying their campaigns and slashing budgets[1]. Brands are having to navigate an unprecedented landscape, leading them to question their communications strategy and even consider whether to ‘go dark’ until the pandemic is over. 

Nevertheless, there are many brands who have taken the situation in stride over the past few weeks and used it as an opportunity to show more care and compassion than ever before. 

Here are three brands that have got it right. Let’s explore how we can learn from them in order optimise our own brands to communicate with common sense and kindness during this time.


Pret a Manger

International chain café, Pret, took immediate action against the pandemic. In terms of operations, branches closed their seating areas and began offering takeaway-only services in the early stages of the pandemic in order to minimise social contact. 

When it comes to community engagement, Pret extended its support to NHS workers by offering them free hot drinks and a 50% discount on all other products. 

With this announcement, the brand’s social media activity spiked by 3,574%, and its daily mentions have consistently remained 350% higher ever since.[1]

The brand also supported this initiative with an element of personalisation. The CEO, Pano Christou, announced the news on his blog, thanking NHS workers for all their contribution. 

The brand’s quick and impactful response demonstrates how effective addressing the situation head on can be. Better yet, the campaign also aligns with the brand purpose – to give back to the community. 

Nike

As usual, sportswear powerhouse, Nike, has managed to perfect their messaging strategy. In light of current events, they have developed the ‘Play Inside to Play for the World’ campaign. 

Nike typically uses professional sport to inspire engaging content. Their latest campaign seeks to unite diverse consumers using the idea of our ‘new normal’. 

Nike’s ‘Play Inside to Play for the World’ campaign encourages consumers to get creative in the ways they play, providing ways to encourage fitness at home. This includes ‘Made to Play’ which encourages children around the world to get active and the ‘Living Room Cup’, a variety of mini-workout challenges measured against the personal bests of Nike pro athletes such as Cristiano Ronaldo and Giannis Antetokounmpo. Players can then share their results on their Instagram profiles using the hashtags #playinside and #thelivingroomcup.

Nike’s campaign resonates with consumers as it supported by an effective and tangible initiative, which provides consumers with something to do, rather than simply telling them to stay inside. 

Nike is harnessing the power of their brand in a new way, showing that the brand is agile, current and supportive.

Grazia x NHS Heroes

Known for providing consumers with their fashion, beauty and celebrity fix, leading women’s consumer title, Grazia, recently replaced its typical cover images of starlettes with those of medical heroes. 

The special edition of the magazine paid tribute to NHS staff serving on the frontline, featuring covers of four inspiring women in the medical field, with their stories and real-life experiences shared. 

The issue was produced despite editorial teams working from home. The cover photos were even shot in a matter of minutes in NHS car parks before the staff went back to their day jobs (with social distancing measures in place of course!)

Grazia put their brand in the thick of the situation to deliver interesting, refreshing and current content that provides a spark of positivity and inspiration in a challenging time. What’s not to love?


Shifting your brand positioning 

As demonstrated by the brands above, compassion, authenticity and creating connections are pivotal to instilling brand loyalty within consumers. 

However, it is also important that new campaign positioning continues to align with brand values to show that you are not ‘just jumping on the bandwagon’ but truly want to make a difference in the lives of consumers at the time. 

Ask yourself: What is unique about your brand? What is that special something only your brand provide? Is it relevant to your consumers right now and is it feasible for your business? 

Now is the perfect time to think outside the box and adapt your approach to embrace change. Only then will your brand be able to emerge successful. 

[1] https://thenextweb.com/podium/2020/04/05/messaging-tips-help-brand-marketers-coronavirus-pitfalls/
[2] http://www.lbbonline.com/news/community-pret-a-manger-and-wetherspoon-social-media-during-the-coronavirus