As purpose is put to the test, many brands are stepping up to the task and responding to the call in the midst of the global Covid-19 pandemic.

With much of the world in lockdown, how our familiar brands and companies have had to, and continue to, respond are becoming more apparent. Being a global crisis means that major brands are needing to dig deep, and intelligent brands, the competitive brands, are rising up and realising the need to activate their purpose.

Pret a Manger is one of those brands that took decisive action early on. The coffee and sandwich chain closed seating areas to operate on a takeaway-only basis in a bid to do their part to reduce social contact and prevent virus transmission. Pret has also shown outright their support for the hard-pressed NHS workers, offering hot drinks for free and a 50% discount on all other products.

The Pret CEO Pano Christou personally announced the move in a blog, where he thanked NHS workers for all their hard work and his heartfelt message swiftly gained public support.

…The teams on the frontline of the NHS are doing an extraordinary job and deserve all our support through this crisis. Hopefully this small step helps brighten their day. — Pano Christou, Pret

Morrisons publicly announced what they will do for their employees during this unprecedented time by introducing guaranteed sick pay — including those staff who are self-isolating rather than ill — as well as expanding home deliveries to those in need and committing to pay small suppliers faster to releave pressure on SMEs.

We expect the days, weeks and months ahead to be very testing and we are determined to do our bit. — David Potts, Morrisons

The issue that can come for brands trying to do their part or survive during such a time, is that you need to get it right, otherwise, you run the risk of being accused of profiterring or piggybacking in a global emergency. In a time where people are being told to stay at home with many glued to their TV, computers, laptops, tablets and phones, the marketing messages are likely to be heard loud and clear by the public and the moves taken by our most well-known and loved brands.

What does your brand say?