So, Hang Tight.
Just last week, Denny’s restaurants set up food trucks to feed first responders and victims in tornado-ravaged areas of Tennessee.
This week, amid our current pandemic, Patagonia voluntarily closed stores for a minimum of two weeks while agreeing to pay staffers full wages.
I just read that Louis Vuitton is repurposing perfume factories to create hand sanitizer.
Conversely, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos just took an unnecessary PR hit for suggesting that his employees give their personal PTO to quarantined coworkers.
With the stock market in shock and social-distancing the new norm, we are now facing an unprecedented adjustment period. Nobody knows what the future holds. But I have hope for it, because some of the best people I know are programmed to do the right thing in the worst of times.
Which begs the question: what can we all do as skilled problem solvers?
We can help each other figure out how to move forward. We can count our damn blessings, and by that, I don’t mean the things we’ve accomplished or accumulated.
We can help corporations make intelligent choices and help each other to do the same, without legal tender changing hands.
We can accept that a new reality is on the horizon, and figure out how to navigate our way through it.
Let’s help companies weather the storm by giving them what we’ve spent our careers coming up with. Good ideas that can help make things better for everyone.
Could we encourage our local grocery stores to respect social distancing, whether it be by asking shoppers to schedule appointments or limiting the amount of shoppers to one-per-aisle? Could we ask that special “senior hours” be established for the elderly to shop at their leisure without an accompanying sense of panic?
Could we convince fitness companies to offer free online exercise coaching that requires no branded merchandise and can be done from home?
What if we lobbied to bring full-service gas attendants back to limit exposure at the pumps and check air pressure and oil levels for people counting on their cars now more than ever?
There’s no harm in asking corporations to think outside of the big box, and showing empathy and compassion that will benefit their brands for far longer than any self-imposed quarantines.
Let’s do everything we can to flatten the Corona curve, even if it feels inherently anti-social.
Let’s openly applaud the Patagonia’s and the Louis Vuitton’s and the Denny’s of the world with reciprocal positivity in the face of all the negativity.
Let’s celebrate the best ideas and encourage more of the same from companies and one another.
Let’s reach out in social media to the companies we spend our money with and apply the kind of gentle pressure that begins a movement.
Let’s turn the temptation to panic into the power to create positive change.
Chief Creative Mentor