As I write this, I’m working from home, as is the rest of the BrandVerity team. For some of us, that means juggling how to home school our kids during the workday. For others, it translates into having their dogs in their laps during video calls. All in all, though, we are a lucky group to be able to have jobs that enable us to work from home. Our gratitude goes out to those who are not able to do the same, yet are helping our communities function as normally as they can, from healthcare and hospital workers to those at our grocery stores and pharmacies.
I know I’m not alone when I say it can be difficult to focus on “business as usual,” when business is anything but. We will all ultimately have to make decisions on how to best navigate these uncertain times. What I do know is that there are brands that I’m seeing do a phenomenal job on how they want to get their customers through this time–and as difficult as this time may be, this also presents an opportunity for brands to showcase their best selves. Here’s are a few key values I see brands demonstrating right now:
- Be empathetic with what your customers are going through.
Up until a few weeks ago, my family was planning on traveling to Arizona for Spring Break. Like most families in the Pacific Northwest, we tend to purchase our tickets early (as in once the school calendar gets released). Once our plans changed, I was unsure of what was going to happen, but thankfully Alaska Airlines came through, giving me and other customers the option to cancel their flights without penalty fees. The entire airline industry will be taking a hit during this time, but despite this, Alaska was committed to their customer experience. I was an Alaska fan to begin with, but this whole experience reaffirmed my commitment to traveling with them in the future.
- Be helpful by providing customers with what they need most right now.
One of the biggest industries hit during the COVID-19 outbreak has been restaurants. In response to this, Toast, the consumer payments app for restaurants, is providing insight in how to manage restaurants during COVID-19. From taking care of staff to sanitizing restaurants, the company’s website is providing a series of thought leadership content dedicated to managing through this challenging time.
- Be flexible in how you think about your products and services.
A lot of us are relying on video conferencing right now as we work from home. One area that didn’t really need to use video conferencing a lot–up until now–is the K-12 market. But with school closures happening at an alarming rate, the need for educators to communicate with their students over video has grown dramatically. To meet that need, Zoom video conferencing came in and started offering free access to Zoom for K-12 schools. What’s even more interesting is seeing how the company’s offerings are evolving as they navigate this new space, removing meeting time limits for schools.
I have no doubt that a lot of us will continue to be in “learning mode” for the foreseeable future, whether it comes to mastering how to work remotely or how to continue to innovate our businesses in this new world we’ve entered. What remains constant, though, is the opportunity to stay true to our brand values and how we want our customers to perceive us through this challenging time and beyond.
I’d like to continue featuring brands that are bringing out their best selves. If you’ve seen any noteworthy brands doing great things, let us know in the comments!