Alex Milinazzo
Alex is a Trends Analyst for North America. Focusing on the US and Canada, he analyzes cross-category consumer behavior through the lens of Mintel's Global Consumer Trends.

New consumer product brand house, Arfa launched its first personal care brand, Hiki, by giving away its products to healthcare and medical facility workers. Healthcare and medical facility workers will receive two free products of their choice (they only have to pay $2.50 shipping). All other consumers can receive two free products and pay $5 shipping by posting on social media tagging #todayimfeeling and @arfabrands, with the accompanying post regarding users’ honest feelings, without having to mention Hiki at all. Hiki’s product line at launch includes an anti-chafe stick, body powder, deodorant, antiperspirant, body wipes, and travel-sized deodorant.

Arfa adapts to current conditions

Hiki’s original launch date coincided with the global COVID-19 pandemic, so rather than shift the brand launch, parent company Arfa decided to adapt to the current conditions. It’s no secret that the pandemic has affected every category around the world in different ways but it’s also a perfect example of unexpected circumstances necessitating brand adaptation – with a host of brands rising to the challenge while others stumble. Companies must always be prepared and equipped for stormy weather, whether it’s something as widespread as the novel coronavirus or as narrow as something affecting only the brand’s category or locale.

Other brands leading by example

Gifts for Our Unnamed Heroes: Department stores in Shanghai set up unmanned kiosks to provide free food, water and daily necessities to workers who kept the city running while people were forced to stay home due to COVID-19.

Healthy Healthcare Workers: Sweetgreen is delivering free salads and bowls to hospitals in the cities in which it operates.

What we think

We constantly emphasize the need for brands to be adaptable and anticipate change to the best of their abilities. In a globalized marketplace where technology progresses quickly and consumer trends move even faster, it’s imperative for brands to have malleable positions – not in the sense of constant rebrands or being ‘the next big thing,’ but rather having the nuanced insight that allows a brand to pivot its messaging and product development that best mirrors the contemporary consumer now and not in 6-12 months.