How a gesture of gratitude helps your brand build goodwill

“People will forget what you said. People will forget what you did. But people will never forget how you made them feel.”

Maya Angelou wasn’t talking about brands right there, but she couldn’t be more spot on. Customers, employees, and prospects all want to be seen, heard and valued.

How does your brand show appreciation? This is a perfect time to try. Expressing gratitude is more than a brand strategy; it’s a mindset that drives everyday decision-making and has psychological benefits for your team. That’s why sincere appreciation is one of our core “Madison Ways.”

Brands are looking beyond money donations to thank those on the front lines for our benefit – not just doctors and nurses, but also EMTs, public transit drivers, postal and delivery workers, cashiers and sanitation workers.

They’re donating personal care items like soap, hand cream, hair care, shampoo, gels, scrubs, masks and hand sanitizer. And lots of shoes. Like, hundreds of thousands of shoes. Food suppliers are offering up donuts, coffee, water and smoothies, even jellybeans (that’ll put a smile on someone’s face).

Brands are also looking beyond the obvious, supplying free haircuts, lawn care, wedding dresses and breast pumps to workers who are short on time and energy. That takes true empathy and insight.

Maybe your product or service doesn’t seem relevant; appreciation comes in all forms. Companies and communities alike have chimed in with balloon installations, creative lighting displays, sidewalk chalk art and sand sculptures.

Need more ideas? Think about how your company could brighten someone’s day, help them do their jobs, help their families or simply give comfort:

  • Write handwritten notes (always a hit, even from groups)
  • Record a video
  • Hang signs on a fence, wall or building
  • Commission a mural
  • Send flowers (or plant some outside their window)
  • Use existing billboard or ad space
  • Feature individual front-line heroes on your social media

If nothing else, you can’t beat a good old-fashioned smile, wave and sincere “thank you.”