Big American Brands: COVID-19 Messaging

Goals

To obtain information about the messaging around COVID-19 including screenshots, links and insights for big American brands, to be used in informing marketing strategies for clients.

Early Findings

Big American Brands

  • In 2018, the following companies were listed among the leading brands in the U.S. by brand value: Amazon, Apple, Google, Microsoft, AT&T, Facebook, Verizon, Walmart, The Home Depot, Walt Disney, Wells Fargo, and Starbucks.
  • In 2019, the following companies were listed as the top 10 most valuable brands in the U.S.: Apple, Google, Amazon, Microsoft, Visa, Facebook, McDonald's, AT&T, IBM, and MasterCard.

Messaging Around COVID-19

  • Starbucks' CEO emailed its customers, informing them of the company's adoption of Beijing's example to incorporate into its operations. This includes leaning more towards online/pick-up service.
  • The company used what could be considered as a compassionate tone in stating, “Our hearts go out to all who have been affected by the outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19)”.
  • AT&T's CEO Randall Stephenson, had an interview on CNN to address customers about the company's stance in COVID-19. He said "we will do whatever we can to help" small businesses and other customers.
  • The CEO of AT&T Communications also sent out a letter informing customers about the company's path forward, how they'll be staying safe, and areas of operations that'll be affected and how.
  • Walmart has informed its customers that the company has increased sanitation of its stores because of increased traffic and that they will aim to "keep [their] stores stocked and prices fair". They have also shared with customers that they are standing firm in ensuring that they are treated fairly with the price of their products even through third-party sellers claiming that, "[o]nline, [the company is] taking a firm stance related to the potential for price gouging by third-party sellers. Violations of [Walmart's] seller pricing policy and seller prohibited items policy will not be tolerated and will be resolved quickly".
  • IBM has encouraged customers to continue playing their part in social distancing and reassured them of their commitment to keeping their employees safe. They have promised that they will continue to work with experts "to work together, and manage through the COVID-19 outbreak" by "applying data, knowledge, computing power and insights to solve difficult problems".

Proposed next steps:

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As our initial research briefly touched on what big American brands are saying amidst the COVID-19, we recommend continuing our research to provide a deeper dive into the messaging around COVID-19 for 16 American big brands (i.e. Amazon, Apple, Google, Microsoft, AT&T, Facebook, Verizon, Walmart, The Home Depot, Walt Disney, Wells Fargo, Starbucks, Visa, McDonald's, IBM and MasterCard). We can start by providing insights into the marketing efforts of EIGHT of the brands (i.e. Amazon, Apple, Google, Microsoft, AT&T, Facebook, Verizon, and Walmart). For each company, we will provide at least 2 creative examples of their marketing efforts, brand positioning, channels used for marketing, and messaging (i.e. what they are saying to customers about themselves during COVID-19, highlighting the respective channel).
Additionally, we propose further research to provide 3 -5 insights into the marketing strategies for COVID-19 in the U.S. We will highlight any information relating to any of the 16 brands identified in the first hour of research (i.e. Amazon, Apple, Google, Microsoft, AT&T, Facebook, Verizon, Walmart, The Home Depot, Walt Disney, Wells Fargo, Starbucks, Visa, McDonald's, IBM and MasterCard).