Most people around the world had to change their daily routines due to the rapid spread of coronavirus. Governments in more countries tend to use preventive measures, forcing their residents to self-isolate, however, they can no longer handle the current pressure on their own. It’s time for businesses to step in, and luckily, in the past few weeks, we have seen a number of positive examples of how brands are giving back to the community. From Tesla planning to produce lung ventilation equipment in the USA to Web Summit donating over $1 million to fight against COVID-19 in Ireland. Let’s take a look at how brands around the world respond to the pandemic.
Fashion and cosmetics brandsThe fashion designers from Armani Group were the first to react to the pandemic. The new Armani collection was presented at Milan Fashion Week online, in an empty room due to the worsening situation with coronavirus in Italy. Giorgio Armani donated over $1.5 million to fight against coronavirus. Moreover, the fashion designer bought front pages of 60 Italian newspapers to express gratitude to Italian doctors fighting on the coronavirus frontlines. “All of the Giorgio Armani company is tuned in to this reality and is close to all of you: from the stretcher-bearer to the nurse, from the family doctor to all of the specialists in the sector. I am personally close to you,” wrote Giorgio Armani.
Luxury conglomerates Kering (Gucci, Balenciaga, Saint Laurent) and LVMH (Dior, Louis Vuitton, Givenchy) decided to donate over three million of medical masks to healthcare institutions in France.
Gucci will also help hospitals in Italy with disposable hygiene products, as well as provide them with more than 1 million masks and 55,000 medical overalls. Brands with factories in France, like Balenciaga and Saint Laurent, are about to launch the production of medical clothing.
Earlier, Kering decided to donate over $2 billion to fight against coronavirus, and LVMH announced the readiness of its perfume factories to produce over 12 tons of disinfectant gels for French hospitals.
Cruelty-free cosmetics company Lush decided to join in the campaign against getting sick. Lush stores now open doors to all passersby, inviting them to come in and wash hands for free.“The simplest thing you can do to not get a virus is to regularly wash your hands. o we’re saying people can come in off the street and wash their hands in our place. We’ve got loads of soap and plenty of hot water,” said Mark Constantine, Lush CEO.
Due to the pandemic, most public events have been canceled, and public spaces such as cinemas and theatres shut. In response, Netflix has prepared something exclusive and free for its users – Netflix Party.
Netflix Party is a Google Chrome plugin that allows you and your friends to watch Netflix streaming shows and movies while in different locations. The extension is available for free at the Chrome Web Store. After installing it, all you have to do is send your friends a link and start watching. Moreover, Netflix Party allows you to chat while watching, which is very handy.
Pornhub, which had initially offered free subscriptions to residents of Italy, Spain, and France, announced yesterday that it will be expanding its offer worldwide. To help flatten the curve, Porthub Premium will be free to everyone around the world until April 23.“With nearly one billion people in lockdown across the world because of the coronavirus pandemic, it’s important that we lend a hand and provide them with an enjoyable way to pass the time”, explained the initiative Corey Price, VP at Pornhub.
Restaurant chains & supermarkets
Canadian restaurant chain Tim Hortons has started a campaign of delivering free coffee and doughnuts to nurses, doctors, and other healthcare professionals fighting with COVID-19. Tim Hortons coffee tracks will travel to health institutions all over Canada. Besides, Tim Hortons is set to provide a total of $40 million for its employees affected by the spread of the pandemic. The company also offers compensation for up to 14 days of scheduled work hours for any employee. “We don't want our team members affected by COVID-19 coming to work sick. We don't want them isolated at home worrying about how to support themselves and their families,” said Duncan Fulton, Chief Corporate Officer at Tim Hortons.
The global lockdown has also affected McDonald's. The fast-food chain had to close its restaurants but is now giving away its surplus supply to food charities and food banks.
Supermarkets over the world see their shelves getting cleared out faster than ever because people start to panic and stockpile on essential goods. In order to make sure everyone gets enough food, some of the supermarkets are introducing new measures: e.g. special shopping hours for elderly customers. Supermarket chain Sainsbury's was among the first to dedicate certain shopping hours for vulnerable and elderly shoppers. People over 70 have also been given a priority for food delivery. However, to reduce the panic, Sainsbury’s restricted shoppers to buying no more than 3 items of one product.
All of Tesco’s 24-hour stores are now closed between 10 pm and 6 am. Similarly to Sainsbury’s, Tesco has also implemented a three-item limit, per item and customer.
Ukrainian brands don't stand aside and a number of initiatives have been launched in the last few days. First Ukrainian virtual bank Monobank introduced a new cashback category to its users, called Quarantine. By the end of March, bank customers will receive 20% cashback on games and apps in Xbox stores (Microsoft Store), Playstation Store, Apple Store, Google Play, Megogo, Netflix, Brazzers, and Pornhub. Moreover, every time a customer pays by card in a supermarket or grocery store, the Monobank app reminds customers to wash their hands.
Another excellent example of business response to the pandemic is a postal and courier company Nova Poshta. The company donated ₴25 million (~$900,000) for medical equipment and accessories. “This is our support to doctors in order to defeat the virus and protect people's health,” said Vyacheslav Klymov, Co-Founder of Nova Poshta.
PrivatBank – the largest Ukrainian commercial bank – has launched a special fund called “Breath! Together against coronavirus” to help collect money for medical equipment needed across the country. The bank had already donated lung ventilation equipment to several hospitals.
Moreover, Lviv IT Cluster, which has been organizing IT Arena since 2015, has just launched a new project United for Health aimed to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and help the citizens who tested positive in Lviv and Lviv region. For this purpose, Lviv IT Cluster mobilizes forces of the tech community in Lviv, municipal and regional authorities, and the coronavirus emergency operation center.
Hopefully, these examples of giving back will inspire you. Maybe they will prompt you or your business to think about ways to help your community during the pandemic. Supporting others is an effective way of reducing the anxiety swirling around the media nowadays. Just look around and think about what your contribution could be during this challenging time.