These brands are reminding us we're all in this together

24 March, 2020 Share socially

As COVID-19 continues its insidious growth, so too does the shadow it casts on our lives. By cruel coincidence, it seems to strike where we’re most vulnerable, at the very things that make us human. By threatening those we love. By severing our connection. By forcing us inside. By making us fear one another.

And yet just as we struggle with the feeling of powerlessness, we are reminded that even in the darkest times the inextinguishable light of the human spirit continues to shine, and - as ever - refuses to be diminished.

We are all having to adapt; businesses, institutions and individuals are changing priorities, processes and behaviour to navigate through challenges as expansive as they are extreme. At these times it’s easy to focus on ourselves, and as businesses everywhere reel from the impact, we will undoubtedly see examples of the self-preservation instinct play out. We may even witness instances of unscrupulous opportunism or profiteering and grit our teeth in frustration and disappointment.

But we are also seeing some businesses show their heart a little, or even a lot. And that’s worth calling out. So rather than wax lyrical on the importance of ‘doubling down on brand purpose’ or ‘living your brand values’ or some other strategy to encourage CMOs to pick up the phone to their friendly self-isolating branding agency, we’re simply going to shine a light on the brands that are catching our eye by virtue of… well, being virtuous.

Because a brand is nothing more than its behaviour. And doing the right thing at the right time is something we can all aspire to.

BrewDog + LVMH switch production to sanitiser

This one’s done the rounds but set the bar, so it would be remiss not to include it. Just 72 hours after the French government issued a call to industry for assistance with key medical supplies, the luxury giant LVMH responded by repurposing (see what I did there) some manufacturing lines for brands like Christian Dior and Givenchy to produce hand sanitiser.

From luxury glass vials of precious perfume to plastic bottles with simple paper labels, LVMH have produced some 12 tonnes and counting, and provided to 39 French hospitals free of charge. Not to be outdone, UK independent brewery Brewdog followed suit and turned their Aberdeenshire distillery to the task of producing hand sanitiser too, giving it away free to charities and the community.

Fuller's cancels rent costs for more than 200 independent pubs

Under government orders to close their entire managed pubs and hotels estate on Friday, pub giant Fuller's announced rent charges will be written off for around 200 of their pub tenants until further notice to prevent businesses from collapse – and the money will not have to be paid back.

Chief Executive Simon Emeny explained the decision by remarking “As we navigate these difficult times, we promise our teams that we will be fair to our people, while protecting our business for the long term. We do not know how long these measures will last, but when the time comes our pubs, and the teams in those pubs, will be ready, waiting and delighted to serve our customers and our communities."

Ryan Giggs & Gary Neville close hotels to offer space to the NHS

GG Hospitality, the restaurant and hotel group owned by Manchester United legends Ryan Giggs and Gary Neville, announced that their two Manchester properties Hotel Football and Stock Exchange Hotel will temporarily close to the public to free up 176 beds to medical workers, after consultation with Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust.

In addition, they’ve promised all staff will continue to operate as normal, and will not be made redundant nor put on unpaid leave during the closure.

We’ll feature more examples of wholehearted brands each week, and feel free to suggest other examples you think are worth celebrating.