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How are consumers responding to brands during the covid-19 pandemic?

Censuswide | Survey Consultants | Research | Research Agency | Corporate Research | Consumer Research | Focus Groups | Brand Perception

A rise in awareness

There’s no doubt that the spotlight has been placed on brands during the covid-19 pandemic, indeed, almost half (48%) of Brits either somewhat or strongly agree they’re noticing brand news more because they’re reading the news more.

It seems the rise in brand news awareness due to reading the news more is strongest amongst those aged 25-34, as this age group was the most likely to state they strongly agree with this statement (25%).

In addition, over 3 in 5 (61%) strongly or somewhat agree that they care more about how brands are behaving during covid-19 than they usually do (e.g. before the pandemic).

 

It’s affecting purchase decision making

And it’s not that Brits are just noticing brands more, but it’s impacting their purchase decision-making process. The way brands act/don’t act can have a big effect on consumers as almost 3 in 5 (58%) strongly or somewhat agree that the way brands are behaving during covid-19 is going to affect their decision to give them their business in the future.

This is particularly true for women as 3 in 5 (60%) female Brits strongly or somewhat agree that the way brands are behaving during covid-19 is going to affect their decision to give them their business in the future.

Brands targeting older millennials and younger Gen Z should also take note. Interestingly, it’s 35-44-year olds that are the most likely of the age groups to strongly or somewhat agree that the way brands are behaving during covid-19 is going to affect their decision to give them their business in the future as a huge 64% agree with this.

So, how can brands take action?

It seems that Brits want brands to be proactive with their approach to the covid-19 pandemic. The research showed that consumers are looking to brands to spread some positivity during this time as almost 7 in 10 (68%) of Brits deem the release of positive news from brands as very or somewhat important.

 

When exploring the importance of positive news from brands during covid-19, it varies across genders. This is demonstrated with a surprising 7% increase when looking at the percentage of females who deem this as very important compared to males (39% vs
32%).

The worst thing brands can do? Nothing.

But it’s inaction that could lead to detrimental effects on consumers. The new research shows that ignoring covid-19 could lead to decline in customer trust with brands. In fact, almost half (48%) of Brits stated they would trust brands less if the brand were to ignore what was happening (e.g no communications about covid-19). Interestingly, this decline in trust was less prominent in the 16-24 age group, with 37% of 16-24-year old’s stating that they would trust the brand less in comparison to 56% of the 55+ year olds.

Further, as the region arguably providing the nation with the best social content and a force to be reckoned with, Scotland is the most likely region to trust brands less if they were to ignore what’s happening, with 56% saying so.

Finally, and perhaps most shockingly, a quarter (25%) of Brits would go as far to boycott a brand if they were to ignore what
was happening.

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