Monday, November 5

Brands' Disaster Response

I've been pretty amazed at how some brands have responded to the disaster of Hurricane Sandy.

Chase Bank, as an example, told me that if I am late for my payments that they will understand.  Honda also sent me a note saying it's ok if I miss my car payment this month.

American Express knew that I was traveling last week, and offered help to get me home safely.

When I stepped into a Best Buy, they had several tables with extra long power strips and coffee for anyone needing a charge.

I have also heard that NY Sports Clubs opened their doors to anyone who needed a hot shower and a phone charge.  There are several restaurants who have cooked off all their food and have been serving it to anyone who needs a hot meal.  Way to go!

This is how you do it, folks.  You get into the lives of your consumers and you add value, particularly in a time of need, and I guarantee that you'll be rewarded.  I have to say that I didn't think much of Chase before, but now they have my loyalty.  Amex showed me another side to their customer service, and I will use their travel services again and again.  And I'll be sure to swing by one of those restaurants once things get back to normal.

Any stories to share of how brands are responding to the diaster ... What's Your Experience?  Jim.

Jim Joseph
President, Cohn & Wolfe NA
Author, The Experience Effect series
Marketing Professor, NYU


  1. I was very impressed at how quickly Tide came in and set up one of their Loads of Hope stations at our Lowes. We are in an area still without power and many, many people lost their homes. Duracell was also at Lowes. I believe it was a charging station but I am not sure. There is a restaurant in Sea Bright, NJ (just a couple of miles away) that was devastated in the storm. They got a military tent set up, and have been cooking food for the National Guard, FEMA and EMS workers in the area. I have never been there, but when it reopens again (hopefully it will) I will be sure to go.

    On a sadder note, I also heard of one person who contacted her cable company. Her house was lost in the storm. She told them that she needed to cancel her services. They told her they were going to charge her $250 for each modem and cable box not returned. They were also going to charge her $10/month to hold her phone number. That was honestly outrageous, in all senses of the word. I don't even know how an operator could be heartless enough to say that to someone at this point.

    I hope this post finds you and your readers well. Hopefully JCP&L will get us some power soon so we have lights, heat and hot water!

  2. Many have expressed anger about receiving emails and texts from banks & retailers regarding their efforts aiding Sandy. What they do not understand is the amount of money these same companies pour in the communities every day not just during times of crisis.