Fight against Covid-19 – what can Zimbabwean brands learn from other markets?

Brands against COVID19

The dreaded COVID19 or Corona Virus is now well within our shores following the death of Zororo Makamba and the rising confirmed cases. Renowned brands internationally have stepped up efforts to help their governments fight this pandemic. In this article, we examine some of these efforts with a view to take cue and hopefully share actionable insights which local brands can immediately adopt to fight this pandemic.


Uber is pledging to deliver free meals to first responders and healthcare workers on the front line of the coronavirus pandemic across the U.S. and Canada.

“We know that the work of medical and crisis response teams can be tireless, and the hours long; we hope we can help in a small way,” Uber said in a statement.

Facebook and Google

Facebook also said it will provide free advertisements to the World Health Organization (WHO) in attempts to keep misinformation on its platform at bay. Google said it is donating $25 million in ad credits to the WHO and government agencies and will make more available if needed.


But Jack Ma, the billionaire founder of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, is taking no chances; through his foundation, he is donating 1.1 million testing kits, 6 million masks, and 60,000 protective suits and face shields.

Fashion Brands: Zara, LV, Prada

Fashion companies from H&M and Zara to luxury firms LVMH, Kering, and Prada are contributing to the fight against Covid-19 by pledging to supply protective items for medical workers.

Food Brands: Nandos, McDonalds, StarBucks, Dominos

Brands in the fast food sector have joined through offering discounts to health workers particularly in the UK. Domino’s will give a free medium pizza, McDonalds is offering free drinks to NHS staff, council workers and the emergency service, StarBucks the popular coffee chain will also offer free drinks to public sector workers during this time. Nandos the popular restaurant chain has introduced a discount for NHS staff who stop by. They will receive 50 percent off their bill when dining in.

The above consists of a sampled list and so many other brands not mentioned have joined the fight through donations and various other CSI initiatives. What is evident is that there is massive opportunity for local brands to assist government in preventing the spread of COVID19. Below are some of the ways which brands can intervene;

  1. Communication – given the lackadaisical nature which locals are taking the corona virus, it is vital that we up the ante in our communication. This is the part where brands can use existing media channels to disseminate information around the virus and encourage everyone to take the precautionary measures. Telecoms companies should come in handy in mass information dissemination.


  1. Donations – every government across the world would do with additional equipment for front line staff in the form of donations for PPE (masks, clothing, etc) and also testing kits.


  1. Resource mobilization – for brands with huge budgets, the government needs partners for effective resource mobilizations. Given only one hospital has been set aside for all COVID19 cases, more clinics and resource centers are needed to contain the spread of the virus.


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