Spring is generally an important time for the home improvement business, prompting a wave of do-it-yourselfers to head to the hardware store.
But with the coronavirus pandemic keeping people inside, the tone of springtime has shifted. Rather than preparing the house for gatherings that the warmer weather opens up, people are urging one another to stay inside and postponing events until things normalize.
In the midst of these constantly shifting and uncertain times, Lowe’s is refocusing its message on community support for essential workers, and meeting the newly immediate needs of its customers: like that broken hot water heater that has to get fixed as soon as possible.
“Everything has been disrupted,” said Lowe’s chief brand and marketing officer Marisa Thalberg, who joined the company in February after four celebrated years at Taco Bell.
But amid all the fear and anxiety, there’s also a sense of “gratitude that many of us are feeling” toward the essential workers at grocery stores, hospitals and even the 300,000 employees at Lowe’s who continue to keep us fed, safe and cared for, she said.
In a montage of regular people creating signs of thanks dedicated to delivery, healthcare, grocery store and retail workers, the spot, created with Lowe’s agency partner Via, invites viewers to join in on the project to highlight the work that essential workers are doing to keep society running during the crisis.
“We just want to be part of a larger movement of expressing gratitude,” Thalberg said, while also encouraging a constructive outlet for those who are stuck at home—many with kids—in line with the DIY spirit of Lowe’s.
Over the last few weeks, the home improvement retailer has dedicated a total of $170 million to support its employees and community, including bonuses and a temporary $2 hourly raise for all retail employees. The store has also donated all its medical grade masks to healthcare workers, expanded sick leave for full- and part-time employees, and implemented new safety measures in retail stores to promote social distancing and safe shopping practices.
Looking forward, Thalberg said Lowe’s is continuing to focus on helping consumers make sure that their homes are safe and comfortable places, especially as the demands on those homes are changing.
“This was the moment to be just communicative and empathic, and let people know all the ways in which we’re there for them,” she said.