Upstanding Brands – Who’s Doing Well at Doing Good?

Assessing the brand landscape during the first few weeks of Coronavirus

In our recent Perspective article on “Why Business as Usual Is Bad for Business” we took stock of some brand actions during the early days of an unfolding crisis and provided brand essentials for uncertain times like these. While some are showing what their brands are made of during this fraught time, others are falling back on old habits, pushing out promotions and pretending like the country isn’t sheltering at home. However, in the last week, we’re seeing no small number of brands stepping up in unexpected and meaningful ways. Here’s our current snapshot of brands leaning hard into their brand values. 

Brooks Brothers

As word spread about the shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE), brands were being called from all corners to step up by producing more vital protective gear for frontline healthcare workers. As America’s oldest retail brand, Brooks Brothers had a distinct advantage: robust production and supply chain right here at home. This week, the company announced that it is retooling its factories to manufacture medical-grade masks and gowns, producing up to 150,000 masks per day. This kind of pledge from an iconic American brand shows their commitment to people over profits, endearing them even more to their American customer base. 

Kaiser Permanente 

For a brand that has the concept of “thrive” at the center of its mission, it should be no surprise that this healthcare company is raising the bar for other brands during this healthcare crisis. What’s inspiring is that Kaiser is simultaneously providing care on the frontlines of a pandemic while still taking great care to proactively communicate to their member base who are sheltering at home. Whether it’s a message of “gratitude and fortitude” for staying at home or providing remote health and self-care tools, this brand is making communication core to their healthy mission to their communities. We’re informed and inspired. 


With people sheltering at home and dine-in service (understandably) prohibited in locations across the country, restaurants – especially independent ones and local eateries – are struggling to stay afloat. Yet, one delivery service is stepping up to provide support to its network of restaurants. Doordash is suspending commissions, implementing contactless delivery across their entire network and promoting ways for consumers to support restaurants through their patronage. The Open for Delivery advertising campaign running across the country displays a core resilience and reliance on relationships to help carry us through, together. 

Bank of America

Last week we outlined the “Top 4 Ways Banks Can Help During Coronavirus” with some core principles for this key pillar of modern society. What we’re seeing during these times is nothing short of miraculous with banks beefing up channels for consumers, helping them navigate their financial commitments with resources and empathy. One financial brand is standing just a bit taller, in our eyes, committing to no layoffs during Coronavirus. Bank of America has announced that not only is it not letting go of employees, but they hired “more than 2,000 new employees in March alone and raised their U.S. minimum hourly wage to $20.” This bank brand is living out its mission to help make people’s financial lives better. 

Stay tuned to Perspective while we continue to survey brand actions and commitments during Coronavirus.  If you have an example of a brand in the retail, financial or healthcare sectors doing good, we want to hear from you. Please reach out via email or on our social channels. If you’d like to speak with one of our brand communication or industry experts, contact us at

Adrenaline is an experience design agency that creates and implements end-to-end branded experiences through creative and environmental design. We enhance our clients’ customer experiences across digital and physical channels, from their branding and advertising to design and technology in their spaces. After transforming an organization’s brand, Adrenaline extends it across all touchpoints — from employees to the market to in-store environments. And, we focus on serving industries that sell human experiences including financial, healthcare, sports and entertainment.

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