It’s been one week since Hurricane Sandy hit the East Coast, leaving millions of people without power, and billions of dollars in damage. People in the Mid-Atlantic and New England regions lost everything from their homes, to their boats, to the food in their fridge. But for every loss, there is an opportunity for gain. How do marketers and business owners walk the delicate tightrope between tragedy, and opportunity?
We took a step back and watched from afar at how people were reacting. How were the politicians, one week away from the election, reacting: Diving in to help, staying on the campaign trail, or looking for a photo op?
How were restaurants that maintained power reacting: Were they aggressive in their promotion? Did they open early and stay late? How did they use social media? Restaurant owners are notoriously “stuck in their ways.”
How were businesses who had the opportunity to profit (i.e. grocery stores, hardware stores, etc.) reacting? Then there were the businesses who promoted aggressively, but returned a percentage of its profits to relief efforts, Red Cross, etc..
We monitored the reactions on Twitter, as some people “embraced” Sandy specials at coffee shops and restaurants, while others were turned off at businesses attempting to profit from a tragedy.
…Next time our area is affected by something similar (which hopefully will not be for a LONG time), take a step back and see the reactions from the public and the business world.