Last summer a group of over 200 CEOs announced the new “Statement on The Purpose of The Corporation”. As The Business Roundtable set out to fundamentally change what corporations stand for, and tasked businesses to put social responsibility over profits for shareholders.
Less than a year has passed, and the healthcare services of the world find themselves needing unprecedented levels of support. Now is the time to see which of those businesses are stepping up and making a difference. Recently, Givz CEO, Andrew Forman, wrote a piece for Newsweek that boldly stated: the pandemic is these corporations’ chance to ‘Walk the Walk.’
To help you navigate these unprecedented times with actual solutions to help you drive growth amid COVID-19, we’ve curated a list of brands who have reacted well, and not so well. Let’s start with the good.
The car-making behemoth was quick to join forces with 3M and GE Healthcare to begin planning and put into execution the production of ventilators in the US.
The CPG giant has made arguably some of the largest donations seen to date. Unilever CEO Alan Jope announced that the company was to donate $108 million in products, with half to go to the COVID Action Platform of the World Economic Forum. They have also committed to $540 million in cash flow relief for retailers, and have made moves to support their staff and contractors during this time.
Following their St Patrick’s Day advert, Guinness released a second video which directly addresses the current situation, and is closed with the message that they are doubling their donation from $500,000 to $1,000,000.
The luxury British heritage brand announced they are repurposing logistics systems to aid in the delivery of vital materials and PPE for hospitals in the UK, and using their famous trench coat factory in the north of England to produce gowns for patients.
Other brands repurposing their logistics network to help with the distribution of masks, ventilators and other essentials that hospitals desperately need include Net-A-Porter and Zara, while Chanel and Uniqlo are among many who have committed to making facemasks.
The LVMH Group was the one of the first to announce that they were converting their perfumers into hand sanitizer factories, setting the trend for other businesses to follow suit. Alcohol producers including Anhauser-Busch and Brewdog soon began manufacturing hand sanitizer.
As brands struggle to navigate this new environment, some have landed in hot water after their reactions were made public.
Everlane fumbled their approach by firstly having built a reputation on the importance of “radical transparency”, and after emailing employees letting them know that the company “was stronger than ever”, made sweeping layoffs of around 200 staff, cutting them loose into what can only be described as one of the most difficult economic times in recent years.
Sports Direct, a British sportswear and equipment retailer received bad press after refusing to close stores and requiring zero-hour-contracted employees to work after the UK government requested all business to close, arguing that they were providing “essential” products. The brand later apologized.
Brands cancelling and postponing orders is having a profound effect on supply chain workers all over the world. Vogue Business said on the topic that “The pandemic has exposed practices that shift pressure and financial responsibility from brands to suppliers, leaving them in the lurch.”
The smartest brands took action fast. They assessed the situation and how they could help, and put plans into action. We’re seeing brands big and small finding ways to aid healthcare systems, but some charities are being left behind. Similarly, some brands are struggling to find the right way to help in this time of uncertainty.
The Ultimate Solution for Driving Growth Amid COVID-19
Givz is working to connect brands with charities through Shop-to-Givz campaigns, which is bridging the gap between consumers and companies who are adjusting this new normal, with purpose.
Consumers are becoming more attuned to brand’s reactions, or the lack thereof. Couple that with income loss, concern for the wider community, and a new lifestyle, and it’s clear to see how buying habits are changing. Consumers want to be sure that they’re getting the most out of their money, and that they’re contributing in a positive way to the war against COVID-19.
Givz has been working with meaningful brands to create opportunities where businesses and their customers can work together to restore health to society. We’re helping businesses serve their customers, continue to employ their staff, and to help fight the war against COVID-19.
As part of our ongoing efforts, Givz has partnered with the world’s second largest clothing retailer, H&M USA, to power a nationwide Shop-to-Givz campaign aimed at providing relief for those affected by COVID-19.
From April 13th thru April 19th, every H&M loyalty member that made a purchase of $60 or more at hm.com/us was rewarded with $10 Givz cash to donate to any U.S. charity that is providing support and relief to those on the frontline of the pandemic. An effort that was widely accepted by the H&M customer who, like many of us, wants to help but isn’t sure how.
The campaign allowed for H&M USA to continue to serve their loyal customers, help to retain their employees, and help fight this medical war. A win for all stakeholders. While these times are incredibly trying, Shop-to-Givz campaigns have proven to be an invaluable tool for meaningful brands that are looking to serve customers, retain their teams, and fight COVID-19.
Shop-to-Givz campaigns help brands connect with socially conscious consumers to promote guiltless shopping — each action is rewarded charitable dollars to donate to any U.S. charity of the consumer’s choice. Consumers are able to shop with purpose, helping the charities that need it most whilst buying their essentials, and brands are able to keep trading, keep their staff and provide a sense of normalcy across the board.
To learn how you can serve your customers and serve your community while you continue to grow with purpose, email firstname.lastname@example.org.