GDR’s innovation strategist Charlie Lloyd identifies five brands helping to lighten the load for consumers during a challenging holiday period.
The holidays are upon us, and although they might not take quite the same form as they do in more ‘precedented’ years, hopefully they will offer us all a degree of comfort at the end of a very painful year. That said, Christmas and Thanksgiving carry with them a considerable amount of stress at the best of times, and celebrations during a pandemic promise to pose their own set of challenges.
Making the usual preparations at a profoundly unusual time is going to be a real cause for concern, both in terms of doing everything that needs to be done safely, and affording it all when so many have been hit by job losses or reduced earnings. As for the day itself, smaller family gatherings will necessitate the absence of loved ones we’re used to spending time with on such occasions, and many consumers will be taking on the challenge of hosting for the very first time.
With so many new hurdles to overcome it’s been really heartening to see brands stepping up to find ways to help consumers through the holidays this year. I’ve picked out five of the best responses from brands that aim to alleviate fears and help everyone to enjoy this special time of year.
Restaurant meal delivery platform Restaurant Kits has launched a virtual Christmas party experience in which a chef cooks along with its customers. Meal kits are sent to the addresses of the participants of the virtual Christmas party before everyone joins a Zoom call with a chef who cooks the same meal along with them, answering questions and offering advice until the meals have been served.
US-based food delivery app Postmates is expanding into retail with a platform that will connect its instant delivery drivers to shoppers ahead of the Christmas period. Stores on the platform at launch come from a variety of categories and include Estee Lauder’s Le Labo, home goods retailer Parachute Home and men’s fashion brand Buck Mason.
Payment provider Klarna has released a new feature in its app that notifies bargain hunting shoppers when items on their wishlist go on sale. In the Klarna app, users can create wishlists of items they like, or explore lists that have been curated by brands themselves. They can favourite any items on these lists to be kept informed of any price changes.
To make customers feel confident about entering its physical locations in the pandemic era, clothing brand JCrew is letting people book out the whole store for private out-of-hours personal shopping sessions. As part of the Private Shopping Appointments feature, customers can ask to have the whole store to themselves during set slots before or after usual opening hours.
Amazon-owned supermarket brand Whole Foods is encouraging novice chefs to have the confidence to cook Thanksgiving dinners this year by offering money back if they have a turkey disaster. Anticipating that the Covid-19 pandemic will be a gamechanger for most family gatherings this holiday season, Whole Foods is offering a $35 voucher (while stocks last) to anyone whose turkey is over-cooked, under-cooked, poorly seasoned, burnt, or worse.