Whilst some brand activities are more tactical, it’s good to see others being quick to show they really understand what consumers are needing right now.

Confined to our homes, with normal life going on hold, it can at times feel strange, confusing and a little bleak. Yet breathing real life into their brand purpose is a host of brands showing that what were once warm words on the wall of the office are now taking on real meaning, with them credibly meeting consumer needs. Here are the best examples we’ve seen from recent weeks.

A more personal & experiential touch

The White Company has empathetically teamed up with lifestyle coach Louise Parker, to help us lift our mood and relax.  She suggests lighting a candle at the beginning of a workout and blowing it out at the end.  A way of helping us decelerate, find resilience and set new daily rituals to lift our spirits.

Virtual beauty consultations have also shot up, with Chanel offering customers the ability to book and pay for a one-on-one chat with its ‘Master Artists’.

Whilst some want to relax, for the younger generation still wanting to party, Chinese e-commerce giant JD.com and Taihe Music group have partnered with the likes of Budweiser and Pernod Ricard to create an online clubbing experience.  During a weekly show viewers can buy alcohol direct from the stream, as well as enjoying a whole new entertainment experience.

Social Good

It has also been incredibly heartwarming to see many other brands actively going out of their way to support the NHS and their local communities.

With heightened concerns about hygiene leading to widespread shortages, some brands have switched their manufacturing production to make up some of the shortfall. LVMH is now producing hand gel at three of its factories for local public hospitals. Whilst L’Occitane has been supporting our heroic NHS by sending handcream to hospitals to soothe those hardworking hands.

On a more serious note, clothes retailer Zara has started making protective face masks and scrubs to fight Covid-19 in Spain.  Whilst Formula1 teams have redirected their technology divisions to creating much-needed ventilators.

At a community level, McDonald’s Brazil has actively reinforced the idea of social distancing with a series of outdoor advertisements showing the separation of its famous Golden Arches into two ‘separate’ arches.  Whilst KFC has partnered with Blessing in a Backpack in the US, to help provide weekend meals to kids who might otherwise go hungry.

Broadening our horizons

For those seeking to broaden their minds or a little escapism, technology is enabling brands to open up a whole new world.

Now you can ‘go to the museum’ and never have to leave your couch. Google Arts & Culture has teamed up with over 2500 museums and galleries around the world allowing everyone virtual tours of some of the most famous museums. While The Getty Museum has been encouraging its Twitter consumers to get their fix of creativity, play and connection by challenging them to recreate a famous work of art, using only objects and people in their homes.

Offering respite to parents, Audible is offing free streams on a select number of children’s stories to keep kids ‘dreaming, learning, and just being kids’.  Whilst e ‘TimeOut’ has aptly rebranded as TimeIn, bringing fun activities for individuals and families to do at home.

Lifting the mood

Whilst, according to a recent Kantar survey, 40% of consumers said brands should avoid using humour during this time, it is nice seeing brands such as IKEA leveraging its cheeky personality and brand promise of ‘bringing joy into the home’ to lighten the mood.  Launched in Taiwan, their Love Collection brought a little light relief to those forced to spend Valentine’s day quarantined at home. It shone a spotlight on some of their least loved, but suggestively designed, household items.

BOLT florist in Amsterdam also seeks to lift our spirits and save thousands of tulips from land fill by allowing customers to choose what they pay and encouraging them to send them as care packages to friends, family and others feeling isolated.

While meditation app Headspace has created a free space on its service called “Weathering the storm” to boost our mood and increase resilience with meditation, sleep and movement exercises.

And just like the farmer ploughing a proud NHS into his field, those brands that capture the mood, sentiment and needs of consumers in these challenging times and are true to their purpose are the ones that will flourish, and remain remembered for helping us navigate our way through the storm.