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Brands x Better: Shopping to make a difference

A blue logo on a purple background representing a brand focused on shopping for a better cause.

The world is going through a truly unprecedented crisis. The impact of this coronavirus crisis has been widespread, from healthcare systems that are overwhelmed to individual North Americans who’ve been faced with unemployment. 

Small businesses have also taken a hit. Brick and mortar store closures means that not only are businesses shifting their sales channels as quickly as possible to ecommerce, but consumer habits are changing as well. 

Consumers are now shopping primarily online, and are shopping for items based on three specific needs: the need to protect, to entertain, and to connect. This means items like household products (yes, toilet paper), cleaning products, home gym items, books, games, and electronics are all in high demand. 

These three needs aren’t the only motivation driving consumer consumer behaviour right now. Other consumers, especially those who’ve been lucky enough to hold onto their incomes, want to use their purchasing power to support positive initiatives. For some, this means going out of their way to support small businesses to help keep them afloat during this economic slump. Others are making donations to organizations that are working to support businesses and families that are struggling. 

Those who can continue to shop during this crisis are integral to keeping businesses, and the people who rely on them for income, afloat. And now, those consumers can do even more with their purchasing power, by supporting businesses that are helping to provide aid to those fighting COVID-19. 

The Brands x Better coalition is making it easier for consumers to do this. Brands that join the coalition pledge to donate 10% of their proceeds to charities that are providing aid during this pandemic. By purchasing from companies taking part in the coalition, consumers can support fighting COVID-19, while also ensuring employees and suppliers of brands can keep working. 

How the Brands x Better coalition works

Any brand can join the Brand x Better coalition, as long as they commit to giving a minimum of 2% of direct sales, or 10% of total revenue to nonprofit organizations that are supporting COVID-19 efforts. 

Many brands have opted to support Direct Relief, a nonprofit dedicated to providing personal protective equipment and essential medical items to health workers responding to coronavirus, as well as WHO’s COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund. 

But, brands can choose the nonprofit that they would like to donate to as long as it focuses directly or indirectly on the social and economic impact of the pandemic. For example, No Kid Hungry is one of the supported charities, and it’s focus is on feeding children and families affected by coronavirus. There’s also Youthcare, which is supporting homeless youth throughout this crisis. 

Once a brand has made their pledge and joined the coalition, they are added to the Brands x Better members page, which now has over 80 members. Consumers who want the added value of funding support initiatives while they shop can browse the coalition member’s page where they’ll see what the member brands are, how much of their profits they are donating, and who they are donating to. 

Brands x Better has shared that they will be ongoingly tracking and reporting overall contributions to COVID-19 efforts from the coalition, so that they can quantify its impact

Diff clients have joined Brand x Better

Here at diff agency we’ve been committed to upholding our values from the start by building a workplace culture that is supportive and inclusive. In the midst of this crisis, we’ve seen many of the brands that we work with embracing these same values, specifically the importance of giving back. 

Two of diff’s clients have joined the Brand x Better coalition. Boll & Branch, a luxury bedding company, was an early adopter. They’ve pledged to donate 10% of proceeds towards their Helping from Home initiative. The company shifted its operations to manufacturing mattresses and pillows for hospitals in need. And not only are they donating 10% of proceeds, they’re also offering 10% off purchases. 

Summersalt is another diff client that has joined Brand x Better. The swimwear brand is donating $15 from every order of $125 or more from the sale section to No Kid Hungry. To help motivate customers to give, they’ve put on their first major sale, which features over 100 items at 25% off. And that’s not all Summersalt is doing. They also set up a text hotline called “Joycast,” dedicated to spreading joy on demand. Anyone can text JOYCAST to 24321 to receive a joyful reply during these tough times.  

Shop to make a difference

In the midst of a global health and economic crisis, shopping has emerged as a way to support the organizations and people that need it the most. For the Canadians and Americans who have the privilege of income despite this pandemic, the Brand x Better coalition is a fantastic resource for making sure the online shopping you do is also making a difference. 

And the difference this shopping makes extends beyond COVID-19 relief efforts. By supporting Brand x Better brands, you ensure that they can continue to operate and keep their workers employed throughout the crisis. 

If you have questions about moving your retail store online, or building a new online store during COVID-19, we are happy to help. Contact our team to learn how we can help you keep your business up and running on Shopify.

This article originally appeared in the Diff Agency blog and has been published here with permission.

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