Brands and Pandemic: Industry Leaders are Getting Desperate

While the world is being thrilled by Coronavirus pandemic, the feverish minds of marketers are struggling. How to stay relevant and trustworthy? How to retain a brand’s value? Should brands speak up or stay dark until the situation gets stable? These questions require immediate answers, which makes them even more complicated. 

Nevertheless, many brands including fashion apparel brands who worked with Asian suppliers, have taken advantage of the Coronavirus outbreak and are quickly adjusting to a new normal. Read on to learn how brands are trying to keep up with a hard time.

Promotional giveaways by Crocs and JanSport

Crocs, a comfy footwear brand, has recently launched a “Free Pair for Healthcare” campaign which implies donating a pair of shoes to health care workers in the US. To get a free pair of clogs or crocs at-work style footwear, one needs to make an order through Croc’s website; shipping is free. Also, Crocs is going to donate 100,000 pairs to healthcare facilities to show help and support to all who fight against COVID-19.

Backpack brand JanSport also responded with a giveaway campaign. This time, in collaboration with JUV Consulting – a Gen-Z marketing firm. JanSport decided to donate 10.000 backpacks to support unprivileged students who are currently on lockdown and cannot get free meals. In exchange, the happy recipient needs to make an unpacking video on Tik Tok with a #UnpackThatChallenge hashtag.

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KFC is feeding first-line responders

KFC provided 1 million pieces of chicken to its franchisee so that they could feed first-line responders at no cost, also Yum Brands restaurants donate unsold food to  food banks to do everything it takes to support local communities involved in the coronavirus battle.

Currently, KFC partners with Blessings in a Backpack, a non-profit organization, to provide food supplies for children during school closures.

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Nike’s NTC users get a free premium subscription

While Nike’s stores are shutting down due to the worldwide quarantine, the brand’s marketing strategy is evolving. To make people workout and keep buying legendary sportswear, Nike came up with the premium subscription for its Nike Training Club app. Subscribers get access to multiple workouts, including yoga courses; US consumers get all trainings for free. 

As a result, Nike hit a 100% weekly increase in NTC app users across the US, claims Heidi O’Neil, Nike’s president of Consumer and Marketplace department.

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nike screenshot launched drone delivery is a well-known Chinese e-commerce platform that initially started as a brick and mortar business in Beijing. The storefront operated well until in 2003 China was hit by SARS, which made  the founder of the store, Richard Liu, reconsider his business model. That’s how Jingdong has turned into an e-commerce website. 

No surprise, when the story repeated with Coronavirus this time, Liu was ready to embrace the crisis and implemented high-tech solutions to his advantage. Back in February, launched drone service delivery to a distant village and shot a video that went viral on social media, even though drones are nothing new in 2020.

Tanya Tailor is sewing pandemic clothing

Tanya Taylor, a fashion brand from London, whose designs wore Michelle Obama and Tailor Swift, is currently  producing face masks. Like many other international apparel brands, Tanya Tailor got involved in COVID-19 battle and donates masks to non-related to coronavirus treatment healthcare workers; those who interact with infected patients directly wear special N95 respirators.

The brand collects donations  and highlights that one facial mask costs $3. Obviously, not a big price for saving someone’s life.

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Reese Witherspoon gives free dresses to teachers

Draper James, another fashion clothes brand founded by “Big Little Lies” star, is giving gratitude to teachers by launching a “Draper James Love Teachers” campaign.

“Dear Teachers: We want to say thank you. During quarantine, we see you working harder than ever to educate our children. To show our gratitude, Draper James would like to give teachers a free dress” says the brand’s Instagram.

In addition, every teacher gets 25% off for shopping through the DJ’s website on Teachers Appreciation Day.  

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Reese Witherspoon

Brands and pandemic: wrapping it up

For better or for worse, the coronavirus pandemic has turned the world  into a burning battlefield between industry giants who now more than ever fight for customer loyalty.

Large donations, immense giveaways, and encouraging statements show how desperately brands are trying to stop a high pandemic rate to earn more credibility and retain customers. Numerous cosmetic brands, New York fashion brands and clothes shops are going for the most creative brand activations to keep the wheels rolling , the question is – is it worth it? 

Will this strategy help brands survive the major economic downturn and who will win these Hunger Games? No one knows for sure, only time will tell.