Coronavirus and frontline support

So many craft beverage brands have stepped up their support of community action to help combat the coronavirus. Companies big and small are doing what they can to provide medical personnel and those in essential businesses with some relief, whether a meal or a discount or some type of service. It’s a great feeling to support your community during the pandemic, and in this email we share some creative ideas we’ve seen to recognize first responders.

We have also expanded our offer to meet with craft beverage brands via video conference to discuss these and any other topics, free of charge. We want to make sure you are comfortable with your marketing strategy during this crisis.

recognizing frontline workers combatting COVID-19

We understand from our last email there are appropriate ways to market your craft beverage during a crisis, including: messaging on how to continue doing business with you; highlighting your brand values and community contributions; or entertaining fans and followers. While we would argue that supporting men and women in essential businesses during this time is a best practice, nonetheless it remains a very personal business decision. When brands may be struggling to keep the lights on, it’s hard to even imagine giving away a portion of profits.

Frontline workers illustration for COVID-19 postAside from mental and emotional support, frontline workers will benefit most from support in the following areas: money, meals, time and acknowledgement. What and how much you donate are completely up to you, carefully weighing your financials/reserves, capacity, time and effort into the decision. Remember: it’s completely fine to support frontline efforts in spirit – just be prepared with an answer for social media or in-person at the tasting room if someone asks what you’re doing to help the community. It’s a hot topic with literally the world’s attention right now.

Next we’ll discuss the types of service organizations and essential businesses that could use the help. The list is by no means exhaustive, but it shows some of the creative thinking being done by brands just like yours to formalize their community support.

choosing a third-party organization to support

Red Cross logo for COVID-19 postMany craft beverage brands are continuing to operate under the essential business classification, usually with a reduced team and under stressed conditions. It’s important to remember those closest to you as well as those outside of your tasting room during this time. As a start, we found a straightforward guide to supporting frontline workers’ mental and physical needs on the advisory.com website.

Time Magazine’s April 9, 2020, article on Supporting Frontline Organizations Helping in Fight Against Coronavirus, provides a great list of charities and causes with help from groups like Charity Navigator and GuideStar by Candid. Here are other ideas and organizations you may consider supporting: 

Supporting frontline workers directly
Organizations with broader support
Money:
  • Tips from purchases go towards a relief fund for tasting room employees.
  • Create a local fund with donation matching for coronavirus relief.
  • Match personal donations made by employees to approved charities.
Meals:
  • If your tasting room serves food, consider allowing customers to donate snacks or pre-packaged meals.
  • Sell to-go beverages vouchers that may be redeemed onsite by frontline workers. Some brands have even given beverages away for free!
  • Contact local restaurants, grocery stores and suppliers to join in broader community support.
Time:
  • Sponsor video tastings, happy hours and musical guests for purely entertainment reasons.
  • Produce hand sanitizer.
Acknowledgement:
  • Offer discounts for essential workers.
  • Open special hours for multi-shift workers.
  • Donate a portion of beverage sales to a local non-profit.
Money: Meals: Time:
  • Red Cross: providing needed blood drive services.
Supporting frontline workers directly
Money:
  • Tips from purchases go towards a relief fund for tasting room employees.
  • Create a local fund with donation matching for coronavirus relief.
  • Match personal donations made by employees to approved charities.
Meals:
  • If your tasting room serves food, consider allowing customers to donate snacks or pre-packaged meals.
  • Sell to-go beverages vouchers that may be redeemed onsite by frontline workers. Some brands have even given beverages away for free!
  • Contact local restaurants, grocery stores and suppliers to join in broader community support.
Time:
  • Sponsor video tastings, happy hours and musical guests for purely entertainment reasons.
  • Produce hand sanitizer.
Acknowledgement:
  • Offer discounts for essential workers.
  • Open special hours for multi-shift workers.
  • Donate a portion of beverage sales to a local non-profit.
Organizations with broader support
Money: Meals: Time:
  • Red Cross: providing needed blood drive services.

We’ve enabled two of the above examples – donating a meal or a drink – on our website located at discover.marketyourcraft.com. Read on for more details on how to add ecommerce to your community support efforts!

enabling customer donation online

Salad image for COVID-19 postLate March we evaluated a number of industry-leading online shopping platforms to give craft beverage brands a playbook on how to quickly enable pickup and to-go sales. We landed on Ecwid Ecommerce and have since registered as an agency partner, with access to even more resources to help capture additional sales for your brand. With seamless integration into most tasting room point-of-sales systems, Ecwid streamlines the process of handling credit cards during a time when you’re short-staffed with very little room for error. The free version is fully-functional and allows up to 10 items to be placed in the catalog ($15/month gives you more items, social selling features and other nice-to-haves).

To illustrate how easy it is to enable online donations, check out the following relevant craft beverage examples:

Enabling online donation will not only help those in need, but your frontline team as well. Visit discover.marketyourcraft.com for examples of all the best practices we recommend to  craft beverage clients. There you can sign up for time with one of our experts to discuss local support for coronavirus efforts or other topics to help you thoughtfully market your craft in the current environment.

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