Brands Making Swift Changes for COVID-19

In this unprecedented time of COVID-19, brands are being forced to pivot both their products and their services. From whole teams of thousands quickly adjusting to work from home to alcohol brands switching from distilling spirits to making hand sanitizer, businesses are getting creative about how they can stay open, support their communities, and generally keep moving during international shutdowns. 

Here are some of the trends we’re seeing already in just a few short weeks. We’re impressed with the new levels of creative innovation, and we’re curious to hear what your brand is doing to adjust to the changing needs of the world. 

Face masks are back in fashion. Fashion leader Zara is making scrubs for hospitals in Spain, and Hedley & Bennett is one of the many brands designing face masks. Gap and Nike, and cycling apparel company Kitsbow and bicycle bag manufacturer Orucase, have all also joined in the efforts to make much-need personal protective gear.

Top-shelf hand sanitizers. Now when you sip your favorite cocktail or spritz your signature fragrance, you might also pick up a squirt of hand sanitizer. Brands across the US and Europe are repurposing their equipment and supplies to refill bottles everywhere. 

New takes on take-out. In addition to reconfiguring their services for delivery and pick-up only, restaurants such as Prairie are also repurposing themselves as 21st-century general stores. Some offer care packages from their pantries, and others, including Aziza and The Morris in San Francisco, now include drinks and bottles of wine on their pick-up menus (delivery options may be added soon).  

Five-star shelter for people without homes. One of the most at-risk segments of the population is what Londoner’s call “rough sleepers”, i.e., people who are homeless. IHG, which has hotels and resorts around the world, is working with London’s Mayor Sadiq Khan to provide low-cost rooms, subsidized with government funds, so people can self-isolate. This creative solution also helps sustain hotel staff facing large-scale vacancies for the foreseeable future. A similar plan is in the works in France.

Changing times call for changing names. Time Out magazine rebranded itself as Time In. It’s a temporary move, London Editor Joe Mackertich explained, in place until the city is no longer under threat. “Until then,” he wrote, “we will help and support Londoners coping with this catastrophe.” 

We’ll be watching what happens over the next few months, as trying times tend to be the mother of invention, and we’ll post any updates from our own clients as they shift to a #newnormal. If you need help ideating on what your business can do to help the community, in a way that leverages your core skills and maintains your authenticity, we are happy to set up a time to chat. 



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