Don’t Miss This Moment

There are a lot of great companies doing great things to help ease the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. We think it’s both incredible and admirable. This is a rough time for many retailers right now, especially those in the fashion vertical. But this is also a chance for companies to put their resources to use for the power of good; to make an impact. In order to do so, they must get creative. They must move fast and remove barriers. They must open their minds to ideas from every employee. And some must leverage their partners and supply chains.

We’re particularly proud of our clients at Knot Standard for doing exactly that. They have shifted their efforts to create a special Masks for Medicine campaign that utilizes their resources while bringing value to both a cause and their consumers.

They knew hospitals needed supplies, and because of how their business is built with automated supply chains and global shipping networks they saw a chance to help. Instead of simply donating funds – which John sees as super admirable – they used those dollars to dig into their supply chains and leverage all of their production units and supply accounts to convert one of their shirt lines into a mask making unit. In doing so, they have been able to turn out about a thousand masks each day.

We had an opportunity to talk to their CEO John Ballay about what their company is doing differently right now. It all stemmed from something deep-ingrained in their culture: a true passion to help. Their culture pillars are resourceful, innovative and talented, so this initiative seemed to evolve naturally. “We’re super proud that we have a super altruistic group of people working with us. People jumped on board. We’re always looking to help and from that there is a very natural extension within our culture,” expresses Ballay.

Marketing Dive found that 63% of consumers want brands to stand for something and drive change. Brands with a high sense of purpose have experienced a brand valuation increase of nearly double compared to the median growth rate over the past 12 years, according to Kantar Consulting’s new Purpose 2020 report “Inspiring Purpose-Led Growth.”

This is inspiring companies to alter business processes. But it doesn’t come without some stipulations. Consumers are looking for brands to get involved in ways that naturally align with the company’s core values, such the case with Knot Standard.

Knot Standard was one of the first ten brands to join Brands for Better. It’s a coalition of brands that have come together to provide help to charities during this pandemic. Knot Standard saw a way to involve their customers. Ballay said he “wanted to make it easy for customers to say yes when they are focused so much on their own well-being right now. We look at ourselves as a discretionary business.”

Knot Standard wanted to give reciprocal value. So, they used the approach, ‘if you buy this now, we’ll use the money to put towards this initiative.’ Afterall, they are a business that needs to pay employees and operating costs. Ultimately, customers vote with their words and their dollars. The response has been phenomenal, proving this idea resonated across the country. Ballay shared that some customers bought multiple vouchers to give to their own employees. With that, they’ve been able to keep all of their stylists working through these trying weeks.

Ballay’s words of advice for other companies? “Don’t miss this moment.” He believes it will tell you a lot about the company you’re building and the team you have. “These moments don’t come very often thank goodness. But when they do for all their pain, we need to take a hard look at everything that they reveal to us. Make sure we use all of those findings to build stronger businesses.”

We believe that is something all retailers can aspire to.