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6 brands that have handled the Covid-19 crisis well

As of Wednesday, 18 March, South Africa, HKLM's home country, had 116 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus, Covid-19. The arrival and spread of the virus have sparked concern across the nation, with hand sanitiser stock running low everywhere.
But in the face of a viral pandemic that is quickly making its way across the globe, what are businesses to do? Well, let’s look at brands that have handled the outbreak like leaders.


Travel plans have been affected globally and locally, with President Cyril Ramaphosa discouraging any unnecessary travel both locally and internationally. The travel industry has been flooded with cancellations and requests to postpone trips even after tickets and accommodation being booked. Airbnb is offering full refunds for all cancellations without any negative impacts on Airbnb users and hosts.

Pick n Pay

Ever since the President’s address declaring a state of disaster grocers have been hit by swarms of shoppers panic-buying groceries in bulk leaving little on the shelves for those unable to buy groceries yet. Pick n Pay responded to an online suggestion to start a pensioners-only initiative. The initiative gives pensioners exclusive access to Pick n Pay stores for an hour on Wednesdays to buy what they need before the shelves can be cleared by impulsive hoarders.

British Airways

With travel plans being forced to change, airlines have stepped up to lighten the burden for passengers. British Airways is offering the option of claiming a voucher to be taken in lieu of the flight to all passengers for local flights booked between a certain period. The vouchers will remain valid for up to a year after the original booking.

South African Airways

SAA is offering a free change to bookings of certain international flights taking place on or before 30 September. The routes affected by this offering are to high-risk cities including New York City and London. This initiative not only keeps the passengers' interests at heart, but it holds the wellbeing of the nation at its centre.


Soap company, Lifebuoy, has included its competitors in their latest campaign. They list their top competitors and offer tips on personal hygiene in light of the pandemic. The campaign not only highlights the brand as an industry leader, but it's also true to its purpose and is in the best interests of the public.


Clicks is offering free flu vaccines to all of its clinic staff to boost their immunity. The pharmacy chain is also training its staff on how best to deal with the outbreak. They also appeal to the public interest by keeping all prices of hygiene products unchanged.

A global viral pandemic is a scary thought on its own. The resulting economic spiralling adds to the terror, but in these trying times, the actions of a brand speak volumes.

HKLM's press office

HKLM HKLM is an independent strategic branding and communications company focused on building powerful, sustainable brands in Africa. We are Africa's leading brand agency with representation in South Africa, Nigeria, Ghana, Ethiopia, Kenya, Botswana and Swaziland.
Unfortunately Airbnb acted unilaterally without consultation with their hosts many of whom had cancellation clauses in their contracts which were ignored by Airbnb to the devastating financial detriment of hosts. I will certainly be reviewing my Airbnb agreement in favour of other OTA's.
Posted on 24 Mar 2020 13:23