There’s no denying that the internet and technology have been used for incredibly evil and terrible things. But across the world, corporations are also using them to do some good for humanity.
One consumer trend that was also brought upon by the COVID-19 crisis is that people are starting to see through brands and their intentions, and it’s clear that in a time like 2021, putting profits above people will no longer fly. You can consult with a digital business strategy company to improve your plan and be inspired by these stories.
Here are some ways big brands used technology and the Internet to reach people and express compassion and empathy during the pandemic.
Since gyms were considered non-essential services and were closed for a long time last year, Nike removed their subscription fee for their online workout service called NTC Premium. Thanks to this act of kindness, many of their customers (and even those who didn’t necessarily use Nike shoes) could gain access to good workout routines without paying a dime.
With his move, the brand showed that they are true to its mission to inspire people to make physical fitness a daily habit, especially when combating a virus that attacks our bodies.
Bringing reliable internet to low-income households
People say that this pandemic was the great equalizer and that all of us, regardless of wealth and privilege, were affected in one way or another. But we also can’t deny that underserved people and those from low-income households suffered so much more than those who have more resources at their disposal. One of the ways that this phenomenon reared its ugly head is through the Internet and how low-income families had to struggle with a work-from-home and remote learning setup because they didn’t have a reliable internet connection.
To address this need, four of the nation’s largest wireless firms launched WiFi hotspots across the United States to provide speedy and reliable connections for those who need it the most. These companies also prioritized our frontline healthcare workers by giving free wireless services to medical staff in hospitals.
Apps promoting mental health
The mental health and meditation app Calm has free content and services, but they also have many paid features. At the height of the pandemic, they made most of their popular content accessible to users without them having to pay for any of it.
Users can listen to calming sleep stories, soothing meditations, calming music, mindfulness resources, and other materials. These can help people find peace and a good night’s rest amid stressful news about the public health crisis. This move shows that they are sincere in helping people navigate these troubled times instead of capitalizing on the number of people losing sleep over the pandemic.
Unlimited meetings for teachers
While the past year and a half have been stressful for all of us, it’s also hard to imagine how difficult it must have been for teachers. Effective education was not designed to be conducted through a screen, and students need to see their teachers to effectively grasp certain lessons.
Zoom is known for its 40-minute limit on meetings, which is only removed when users pay a monthly fee. But to help K-12 teachers across the world, the company offered free unlimited meetings so that these educators don’t have to worry about additional expenses on top of all the daily stresses they have to go through.
Providing laptops to low-income students
Aside from not having access to reliable internet, many students also didn’t have access to durable laptops or tablets to help them attend online classes. Thankfully, a software company called Webmart repurposed laptops so that underserved students can have these necessary resources while on remote learning.
Instead of letting their unused or older laptops gather dust in their cupboards or cabinets, the company decided to have them fixed or repurposed. This way, they find new homes and owners that will make the most out of them. The company first started on a smaller scale and eventually expanded when people found out about their initiatives and offered some of their older gadgets.
If humanity can get through this crisis together, we need to see beyond making a profit and thinking about the bottom line. COVID-19 may have brought out the worst in some brands, but it also brought out the best in many companies. Extend compassion, kindness, assistance, and empathy, provide excellent customer service, and allow your brand to help in alleviating people’s suffering during these difficult times.