Over the last few weeks, we, like many others have worked to navigate a series of responses regarding COVID-19 (coronavirus). As companies all over the world work to protect their teams and customers, it leaves many of them asking the question “how do we respond to this?” Or even better, “how can we help?”
While much of the tone that is dominating the topic has induced worry, fear, and even distrust, there are countless occurrences of people and businesses coming together to spread light into the world.
We have been increasingly inspired by the brands that are doing their part to exemplify leadership, love, creativity, integrity, and community, during a time when many consumers are experiencing anxiety, risk, new schedules, lifestyle changes, and a need for social distance. Not only have these brands found ways to meet their customers where they’re at, but they have also promoted a message around hope, positivity, and perseverance.
In an effort to spread even more of that, we’ve gathered our favorite examples of brands being a light in their industry during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Old Fourth Distillery
The world became nervous last month when powerhouse, Amazon, ran out of hand sanitizer. Old Fourth Distillery, once makers of spirits, set an example for how they could utilize their resources, machinery, and expertise to help our communities. Starting in March, the distillery (and now many others) shifted to produce hand sanitizer that’s equally as effective as popular brands like Purell. The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau announced that existing distilleries can produce hand sanitizer without authorization first. The recipe may slightly vary, but many are using two parts of alcohol and one part aloe and “filling a need in a national emergency,” as CBS News put it.
Old Fourth set another example not only by diversifying their products but by giving the hand sanitizer away for free. With a lot of love in their hearts and willingness to serve, they project that they can give away over 1,000 gallons of hand sanitizer per day.
As many schools closed across the country in March, many families worried about how they’d provide technology for their children to continue their studies. FireFly Computers, an education technology company, donated 100 Chrome books to a metro school in Minnesota so that the school could properly stay connected to students who are forced to adapt to distance learning environments.
What makes this even more powerful is the company’s #OutGiveCorona campaign that is encouraging all businesses that are able to come together to help the community.
What a perfect example of being a light in your industry.
Cyclebar East Cobb
As more people are urged to stay home, small businesses, including gyms and studios have been forced to close, leaving many people feeling cooped up and missing their exercise routines.
Cyclebar East Cobb in Marietta, GA recognized an opportunity to bring that exercise to people at home by renting out their stationary exercise bikes to customers. To make it even sweeter, they found a way to load up a truck with all 45 of their bikes and hand-deliver them to customers who were interested. Now, many of their loyal customers not only have the means to exercise from their house, but they also continue to stay connected with the instructors via virtual classes that are hosted weekly.
In their interview, they mention that this wasn’t only important to stay connected to their customers, but also to make sure that people have access to this form of therapy that many people need now more than ever.
Party and Print
Businesses in the event planning and party supplies industries began feeling the effects of the social distancing restrictions before many others. This business in Little Chute, Wisconsin decided to spread joy and cheer by filling 350 balloons to make decorations for their downtown streets. The project stretches five blocks with a colorful bouquet of balloons on every other utility pole.
St. Joseph Elementary School
While this one is not a traditional business, we couldn’t help but include it in our favorites due to the exemplary level of selflessness and servanthood shown. In Bardstown, KY, St, Joseph Elementary School delivered 39 iPads to nursing homes and hospitals so that patients and residents could speak to family members while abiding by the COVID-19 restrictions. They were compelled to do this after hearing a heartbreaking story about a man who was dying and requested his Doctor’s phone to talk to his family.
Leveraging Inspiration for Impact
As a company, PHOS is striving to help spread inspiration, positivity, and sustainable strategies that will keep our communities well served. As a result, we are offering to help any local business update their website, or other digital platforms, with any information regarding COVID-19 at no cost.
After reading some of these stories, we encourage you, too, to think creatively about how you could use your gifts, resources, and time to serve others during this time. What can your business do to give back? How can you diversify your product or services to adapt to the current climate? How will you stay engaged with your customers during times of isolation and distance?
A business’s messaging matters now more than ever. Offering help not just products and services will build community, not profit. As one of our marketers, Chad Wolcott, encouraged in a previous blog, these times call for compassionate creativity.
Don’t overlook an opportunity to diversify, change, and adapt to meet the demands and needs of your customers. Be a light in your industry.