Customer Insight Group Loyalty Blog

Fresh Ideas for Building Profitable Customer Relationships
  • Hot Topics

    Hot Topics

U.S. Brands Join the Fight Against COVID-19

USA Brands Join the Fight Against Coronavirus

As the number of cases in the United States continues to grow, hospitals’ demand for personal protective equipment (PPE), hand sanitizers, and ventilators is growing. Brands like the New England Patriots, Ford Motor Company, and Gap Inc. are stepping up to close the gap between the need and the availability of critical supplies to halt the spread of COVID-19. Often, companies talk about having a social purpose (Corporate Social Responsibility) and a set of values or how much they care for their employees, stakeholders, and community. Now companies are taking action. The way companies respond to this crisis is a defining moment that will be remembered for decades. Furthermore, consumers expect brands to solve the problems they no longer believe governments can tackle alone. And companies that reward that faith will see a leap in their bottom line with greater loyalty.


Now is the time that many brands are taking action. The bold and creative steps they take today to deliver immediate assistance will be a part of how consumers perceive their brand and shape their legacy.

Carhartt Shifts U.S. Production to Medical Gowns and Masks

Carhartt Shifts U.S. Production to Medical Gowns and Masks

On Monday, April 6, Carhartt began producing 50,000 medical gowns, and on April 20, the company will begin manufacturing 2.5 million masks. As long as these critical items are in short supply, Carhartt will continue to assist in production.

“Serving and answering the call during times of need has always been an integral part of Carhartt’s history, and it’s why consumers have trusted us to have their back for more than 130 years,” said Mark Valade, Chief Executive Officer at Carhartt. “We are humbled and honored to help all the essential workers serving and protecting us right now.”

Associates from Carhartt’s manufacturing facilities have proudly volunteered to produce these items, and the company will continue to compensate them for their important contribution to the effort to support the nation’s need for medical personal protective equipment.”

Related Article: 2019 Loyalty Trend: Corporate Social Responsibility

Apple is Designing and Shipping Face Shields for Medical Workers

Apple CEO, Tim Cook, said in a video on Sunday, that Apple is designing and producing face shields for medical workers. The company is aiming to produce 1 million face shields per week. “We’ve launched a company-wide effort, bringing together product designers, engineering, operations, and packaging teams, and our suppliers to design, produce, and ship face shields for health workers,” Cook said. 

New England Patriots’ Plane Brings a Million N95 Masks From China

New England Patriots Plane Brings Back Masks
The New England Patriots’ team plane is being used to transport 1.2 million N95 masks from Shenzhen, China, to the United States.

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker secured 1.7 million masks through manufacturers in China but did not have a way to transport them out of the country and the United States. That’s when Patriots COO Jonathan Kraft, also a chairman of the board at Massachusetts General Hospital, had the idea to use the team plane. According to The Wall Street Journal, the transfer resulted from multiple global negotiations and the Massachusetts governor, Charlie Baker, calling on Patriots team president Jonathan Kraft for his help in acquiring the masks.

Ford Partners with 3M, GE Healthcare to Make Respirators, Ventilators to Fight Coronavirus

Ford Partners with 3M, GE Healthcare to Make Respirators, Ventilators to Fight Coronavirus
Ford, in collaboration with GE Healthcare, will leverage the design of Airon Corp.’s FDA-cleared ventilator to produce in Michigan.

In collaboration with GE Healthcare, Ford Motor Company announced today it would begin producing in Michigan a third-party ventilator to produce 50,000 of the vitally needed units within 100 days and up to 30,000 a month thereafter as needed. Ford will provide its manufacturing capabilities to scale production quickly, and GE Healthcare will provide its clinical expertise and will license the current ventilator design from Airon Corp. – a small, privately held company specializing in high-tech pneumatic life support products. GE Healthcare brought the Airon Corp. design to Ford’s attention as part of the companies’ efforts to scale ventilators’ production quickly to help clinicians treat COVID-19 patients. The GE/Airon Model A-E ventilator uses a design that operates on air pressure without the need for electricity, addressing the needs of most COVID-19 patients. Its production can be quickly scaled to help meet growing demand in the U.S.

Related Article: Coronavirus Puts Brands Corporate Social Responsibility in the Spotlight

“The Ford and GE Healthcare teams, working creatively and tirelessly, have found a way to produce this vitally needed ventilator quickly and in meaningful numbers,” said Jim Hackett, Ford’s president and CEO. “By producing this ventilator in Michigan, in strong partnership with the UAW, we can help health care workers save lives, and that’s our No. 1 priority.”

Tesla, Dyson, Formula One, Mercedes and others turn to Manufacturing Ventilators

  • Tesla offers to pay for and ship a crucial medical component being used in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic. These ventilators are part of an “oversupply” of “1,255 FDA-approved ResMed, Philips & Medtronic ventilators” that Tesla purchased last week for distribution to hospitals in the US.
  • Dyson will produce 10,000 ventilators to help hospitals in the UK cope with an influx of coronavirus patients.
  • Britain has ordered 10,000 ventilators from a consortium of leading aerospace, engineering, and Formula One racing companies, which will start production this week in response to an urgent government call for the industry to help save lives. The 27-strong team, including Airbus, BAE Systems, Ford, and Rolls-Royce, have joined forces to ramp up production of a ventilator made by Smiths Group, which supports those with complications from COVID-19.
  • Mercedes Formula One and other F1 teams have developed in less than a week a new version of a breathing aid that can help coronavirus patients. That device is a version of a CPAP, or Continuous Positive Airway Pressure machine, which is not a ventilator but is still helpful to respiratory patients. Top Gear reports that the first 100 machines have been distributed to University College London and 100 other hospitals for testing. 

Gap Inc. to Make Masks, Scrubs, Gowns for Health Care Workers Fighting COVID-19 Crisis

Gap Inc. to Make Masks, Scrubs, Gowns for Health Care Workers Fighting COVID-19 Crisis

Gap Inc., including the Gap, Old Navy, Athleta, Banana Republic, Intermix, Hill City, and Janie and Jac, announced that the company would be converting its factories to produce protective wear for healthcare workers. Plus, Gap’s U.S. distribution centers have reached out to local emergency responders offering free storage space for emergency supplies in our secure warehouses. Also, Gap Foundation will be donating over $1 million to local, state, national, and international non-profit organizations. 

Hanes, Eddie Bauer, and Brooks Brothers Make Medical Masks and Scrubs for Coronavirus Doctors

  • Nordstrom is teaming up with Kaas Tailored to have their Alterations teams in Washington, Oregon, Texas, and California sew more than 100,000 masks. Once made, these masks will be sanitized and donated to Providence Health & Services.
  • HanesBrands aims to produce 1.5 million of these masks weekly, with the entire consortium to produce 5 million to 6 million each week, using HanesBrands’ design and patterns as the guide.
  • Eddie Bauer is working with our vendors to shift apparel production to make 20,000 masks, including 5,000 N95s, that will be sent to the Washington State Department of Enterprise Services to be distributed to hospitals.
  • Reformation has partnered with The City of Los Angeles and Mayor Eric Garcetti on LA Protects, an initiative to organize local manufacturers to make five million non-medical masks for brave people doing essential work, ensuring medical-grade masks can be available to healthcare workers.
  • Brooks Brothers announced it’s converting its New York, North Carolina, and Massachusetts factories into sites for sewing masks and gowns for U.S. doctors.
  • Fanatics, the company that manufactures Major League Baseball uniforms, has suspended production on jerseys and is instead using the polyester mesh fabric to make masks and gowns for hospitals in Pennsylvania and nearby states.

Pernod Ricard Produces Hand Sanitizer to Help U.S. Combat COVID-19 Virus

Pernod Ricard Produces Hand Sanitizer to Help U.S. Combat COVID-19 Virus
Pernod_Ricard USA is working to produce 20,000 gallons of hand sanitizer a week amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Premium wine & spirits leader Pernod Ricard USA announced that it would produce and donate hand sanitizer to help in the national fight against the COVID-19 virus. The health and safety of our employees – and our communities – is our top priority,” Ann Mukherjee, Chairman, and CEO, Pernod Ricard North America, said. “In times like this, it is important that everyone, especially companies with strong U.S. roots, like ours, prioritize good corporate citizenship and step up in the name of the greater good. I am glad that we were able to form this public/private partnership and repurpose our spirits production facilities to meet a pressing, national need.”

Related Article: Taking A Stand: How Brands Are Tackling Social Issues

The hand sanitizer will be produced at all of Pernod Ricard USA’s manufacturing sites, including their facility in Fort Smith, Arkansas, Smooth Ambler Spirits (Lewisburg, WV), Rabbit Hole Distillery (Louisville, KY) and TX Whiskey Distillery (Ft. Worth, TX).

Ballmer Peak, Anheuser-Bush and Other Distilleries Put Their Spirits to Work to Fill the Shortage of Hand Sanitizers Due to the Coronavirus Outbreak

  • Ballmer Peak distillery shifted its entire production from whiskey, rum, and gin to 160 proof hand sanitizer (80% alcohol plus glycerin and hydrogen peroxide). Several other Colorado distilleries have also moved to make hand sanitizer, including Spring 44, Mystic Mountain in Larkspur, and Tenth Mountain in Vail.
  • Anheuser-Busch InBev, the maker of Budweiser and one of the world’s largest brewers, announced on Monday that it would also repurpose facilities and its supply chain to make and distribute hand sanitizer.

Sallie Burnett
Follow Me