In early March we began reporting daily on how brands were dealing with Covid-19. But it’s become clear that the current climate is one of near-perpetual disruption, so we decided to keep on telling the stories of inspiring brand leadership and strategy amid the latest crises in an anxious world. Our goal is to provide an up-to-the-minute source of information, inspiration and insight on brand moves as they happen.
A “disinfection” cabinet that zaps coronavirus could be this Christmas’s must-have gadget as manufacturers tap into demand for professional levels of hygiene in the home. The UV cleaning cabinet, which resembles a microwave and costs £199, is one of a range of anti-coronavirus appliances being put on the market by the electrical brand Beko. The appliance-maker thinks the metal box, which uses UV light, could become a fixture in hallways. The device can be used to kill bacteria and viruses on the surfaces of personal effects such as keys, mobile phones, bags and toys. The Hygiene Shield range, which also includes a fridge with a disinfection drawer and tumble dryer with a UV setting, was rushed into production after a poll of Beko customers in 31 countries found widespread concerns about domestic hygiene. The range is designed, it said, to provide consumers with “peace of mind that their homes are safe and clean”. Hakan Bulgurlu, the chief executive of Arçelik, the Turkish conglomerate that owns Beko, said the company was fulfilling a “real consumer need” with the products that enabled them to achieve “professional levels of hygiene at home”. “I think good hygiene practice is going to be one of the lasting impacts of coronavirus,” he said, echoing other major businesses such as Unilever which have pointed to a permanent increase in demand for soap and cleaning products supplies. Online electrical goods retailer AO.com said there had been a huge increase in searches for terms such as “anti-bac” and “steam clean” on its website. Sales of steam cleaning appliances have soared this year by 140%, compared with 2019, while demand for washing machines with 90C wash cycles and steam settings is up 87%, AO said.
Entrepreneur and TV star Daymond John, who first made a name for himself as founder and CEO of lifestyle brand Fubu, is turning Oct. 24 into Black Entrepreneurs Day. The livestream event celebrates Black business and will award thousands of dollars to entrepreneurs.
The livestream will begin at 7 p.m. ET on Facebook Watch with Chase for Business as the title sponsor. It will simulcast on more than 20 additional platforms, including TikTok, Twitch, Twitter and YouTube. Black Entrepreneurs Day seeks to provide entrepreneurial guidance and inspiration. In all, $175,000 will be awarded to seven Black entrepreneurs and small-business owners through the NAACP Powershift Entrepreneur Grant. John said there’s a parallel to the ABC competition show Shark Tank on which he has starred as a judge for 11 seasons, but the grant recipients here won’t have to give up a stake of their companies in exchange for funding as they do on the TV show. “They’re going to be able to use this money for this great new idea or to help them stay afloat or to get more inventory to their current business,” he said. According to producer Joe Silberzweig, founder of live event firm Medium Rare, John will work with the NAACP to select these winners, who will appear throughout the broadcast. The grants are funded by Chase, along with The General Insurance, Pepsi, Cisco Webex, Quickbooksand audio and video commenting tool Yappa.
The latest CBI/PwC financial services survey found 74% of UK companies – particularly banks and insurance firms – have been taking stock of their office requirements in the hope of either using the space differently, or reducing it. Around 88% of the 133 financial services firms polled for the survey said the Covid-19 pandemic had resulted in a greater shift towards remote working. Nearly half of those surveyed said that more than 90% of their workers could feasibly do their job without being in the office. At high street lenders such as Lloyds Banking Group, Barclays and Metro Bank, branch staff – who are considered essential workers – have continued going into work throughout the crisis, but the vast majority of bank employees have been logging on remotely during the outbreak. Firms like Schroders, the FTSE 100-listed fund manager, have told staff that they will not be required to return to the office full time even after the heath emergency has passed. But some major banks like JP Morgan have raised concerns about the impact of home working, including the lack of mentorship for young staff, and a small drop in productivity on Mondays and Fridays. However, the Wall Street lender is still expecting up to 30% of its nearly 257,000 employees to work remotely in future, at least part of the time. The CBI/PwC report, which polled firms in the first three weeks of September, said that around 71% of firms were now investing in their IT systems to support remote working. However, the survey also showed that City firms are planning to axe more jobs and cut back on non-IT investment amid uncertainty over Covid-19 and Brexit.
Fitness bike brand Peloton is targeting a new market with its latest video spots: normal people. The omnichannel campaign, titled “We All Have Our Reasons,” features real Peloton riders rather than the widely criticized wealthy, thin, white “Peloton wife” character of the brand’s 2019 holiday ad. The video spots’ “real people” are diverse in terms of race, nationality, age, and gender – diversity in advertising is proven to help bottom lines. Peloton’s head of global marketing Dara Treseder said that it’s “absolutely” trying to broaden beyond young, rich consumers. “Reasons” is the company’s first campaign since it paused marketing in May due to massive word-of-mouth marketing benefits at the start of the pandemic. Peloton is spending more on this campaign than any of its previous brand campaigns.
Delivery service DoorDash is giving employers a way to feed their remote employees through a new suite of products called DoorDash for Work. There are four main products, starting with DashPass for Work, where employers can fund employee memberships to DashPass, a program that eliminates delivery fees on orders from thousands of restaurants. In fact, DoorDash says it has already worked with Mt. Sinai to offer free DashPass subscriptions to 42,000 healthcare employees, and that other DashPass for Work customers include Charles Schwab, Hulu and Stanford Research Park. DoorDash for Work also includes the ability for employers to provide credits for meal orders – there are options for day and time restrictions, so employers can be sure they’re paying for food while someone is working. For teams that are working in-person, there’s the ability to combine individual meal orders into a larger group order. And the service also includes employee gift cards (Zoom, for example, is providing these on employee birthdays). DoorDash says it conducted a survey of 1,000 working Americans last month and found that 90% of them said they miss at least one food-related benefit from the office. So DoorDash for Work is designed to help employers continue offering benefits in this area – and also it opens up a new source of revenue for DoorDash.