All the time, money, and effort you have put into building your brand pales in comparison to the good will and brand recognition you garner by stepping up to the plate right now during this time of need. We clearly don’t have enough protective gear. We are running out of sanitizer. Many kids depend on school lunches as their main meal of the day and we are having difficulty getting food to them.
We read with gratitude every day about some local private company that converts their production line to the production of masks, face shields, hand sanitizers, protective garments, ventilators and other desperately needed supplies to fight the virus.
What’s interesting is that the limitations of distribution really call for locally made protective gear and life support equipment. Also, the priority of protecting front line medical people will ultimately short the general public of these much needed goods.
What about food? We admire our friend Bruce Riezenman, CEO of Park Avenue Catering in Sonoma County, California, whose business was heavily impacted by the shelter in place order. But Bruce, true to entrepreneurial form, realized that he could still make 500+ lunches per day and send them to non-profits and folks on the front line.
Our acquirer of the Barefoot Wine brand, E & J Gallo, has quickly pivoted to the production of hand sanitizer and was able to fill its production line with volunteers from their own company. They now supply their own staff and their community with this product, and hope to ship it out to others in need.
Several clothing companies and seamstresses in our county and throughout our nation are sewing masks to address the shortages.
We live in the wine country and all the tasting rooms were closed down, as well as our client’s wine tele-sales call center. Within 48 hours, Jeff Stevenson, Founder and CEO of VinoPRO, quickly set his people up to work from their homes, complete with all the software and telephony required to continue with personalized wine sales, and thereby save much of that potentially lost tasting room business.
Just about everywhere we turn, whether its protective gear for front line medical people, helping other businesses save their customers, or even dairies providing milk for school kids who depend on school lunches, we see examples of local branded-product businesses, from small to large, shifting gears to help in the fight.
The reason we stress local production of needed items is simple. The distribution system and the federal government cannot meet the demand fast enough. We must depend on locally produced products that don’t rely on overloaded or backed up national distribution systems. This is a great opportunity for local companies to come to the rescue.
When this is all over, customers will prefer to buy products from those companies that have proven their dedication to the community. What can you do? Whatever it is, think of it not only as a service to your community, but as an investment in your brand awareness, brand image, and brand loyalty. And after all, it’s the right thing to do!
Stay safe. Stay healthy. Do what you can to support those in need.