When a crisis hits too close to home, we feel as if we have woken up from a strange dream with our ears ringing, still reeling from losing our grasp on reality. As these horrendous events continue to happen, a few companies have developed nearly instantaneous responses to these situations, quietly lending a helping hand while showing the public they truly stand for the principles neatly laid out in their mission statements.
Some brands have been on the support scene for years. Tide’s Loads of Hope initiative has been providing disaster-stricken communities with clean laundry since Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast in 2005. Other brands go above and beyond to generate social media support and monetary donations for victims and families in crisis, like Disney, Darden Restaurants, and the Orlando Magic.
One particularly powerful example of company outreach came from a surprising source: the conservative restaurant chain Chick-fil-A. In the past, Chick-fil-A has been painted as an opposing force to the LGBT community, with unsavory remarks on gay marriage. When the largest mass shooting in US history occurred on a Sunday in Orlando, Florida, Chick-fil-A restaurants around the country were closed, giving employees a day of rest in accordance with the Christian values that founded the company. However, one location in Lee Vista, just 7 miles away from the site of the shooting, decided to fire up the grill for hungry first responders, volunteers and blood donors.
For a company so entrenched in Christian morals, this act of kindness was not simply an appropriate display of corporate action, but managed to seamlessly align the company with the epitome of Christian values: compassion, acceptance, and doing what is right to help those in need.
In times of uncertainty, the public turns to the voices of leaders for guidance and comfort. Chick-fil-A is a unique mouthpiece that balances religious and business practices and as such, takes an encouraging stance on company policy in times of crisis: Brand Champions’ actions speak as loudly as their branding.