A study claims that consumers are aware of brand activity. In addition, this will influence their purchases when the health crisis ends, benefiting those who have become most socially involved.
The COVID-19 has brought so much uncertainty that brands don't know how to behave. There is a clear decrease in advertising investment, while the digital sector is starting to boom, with massive consumption of television and streaming platforms. The coronavirus has changed everything and Edelman, a communication firm, has wanted to know exactly the role of brands in this health crisis.
For this, it has carried out an on the role that brands will play during the pandemic. To do this, he had to interview 12,000 people from Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, South Africa, South Korea, the United Kingdom and the United States, until March 26, and thus be able to draw conclusions. According to the CEO of the company, Richard Edelman, the study reflects the strength and importance, in addition to the need for brands to act.
Respondents have recognized their own need for brands to act to address the different social challenges posed by the virus. Therefore, they are asked to protect the well-being of employees until they adapt products and prices to combat common well-being. In fact, 62% indicate that their country will not overcome this crisis without the support of brands, while 55% believe that companies are responding more quickly and effectively than governments. Although it should be noted that 71% warn that taking advantage of the crisis to sell will lose confidence in it.
The brand trust barometer confirmed that trust in a brand is as relevant in the purchase decision as its quality, value, utility or composition. Underlining data the importance of having a proactive and caring attitude in moments of crisis like the one we are experiencing.
The surveyed markets unanimously agree that brands must do everything possible to protect the well-being and financial security of your employees and suppliers until the pandemic ends, even if it means financial losses. KFC, for example, has allowed its employees to take sick leave and, in turn, guarantee wages for those who cannot work due to the closure of the premises.
Companies are also required to adapt their production to help consumers meet today's challenges. In addition, consumers agree that they must offer free or lower-priced products to restrooms, people who belong to risk groups and those who have been affected by their job.
Thus, brands should focus their messages on offering solutions and the sale should be placed in another period that is not affected by a global health crisis. Most of the respondents expect advertising focused on the help of companies to face the challenges related to the pandemic, and they prefer this type of communication if they are going to focus on talking about their products, being aware of the situation. Furthermore, mmore than half of respondents reject humorous advertising or marketing activityWhile the rest do not pay attention to new products unless they are designed to combat their pandemic-related challenges. In other words, there is a common belief that brands can and should make a difference during the crisis.
On the other hand, it is worth noting the deep desire of the consumer to know the opinion of the experts, since 78% consider doctors to be the most credible spokespersons in actions related to the virus, while celebrities and influencers are less important. Thus, brands are a key source of information during the crisis, with 84% of respondents wanting them to be a reliable source of news themselves and to keep people informed, skeptical of the large amount of fake news running Internet. In fact, heThe best-perceived source is a combination of conventional media and emailWhile a brand's corporate website plays a critical role in developing markets.
The power of brands in education
The brands have great attributes that make each one unique. People want more of them and that's why They ask them to use their power to educate. This involves offering helpful information on how to protect yourself, as well as making the bond between people bigger, Richard Edelman acknowledges. Consumers have to feel helped, emotionally connected, so it is important to include brand messages that communicate empathy, in addition to social channels to facilitate a sense of community and support for those in need. Because knowing what companies do during the pandemic is reassuring for the consumer.
65% of respondents say that a company's response to the crisis will have a great impact on their probability of buying in the future, compared to 60% who turn to brands that they fully trust. Respondents from China have stated that they have started using a new brand because of the innovative way or sensitivity they have responded to the pandemic., while the risk exists in those whose performance is perceived as lacking empathy.
The crisis will profoundly change our way of thinking, behaving and consuming. Normality will take much longer to arrive than the virus to disappear. Trust is the basis of this new reality, where companies must have the mission of solving the problems that appear in the world, while collaborating with the public interest. Society, right now, wants brands to improve their lives and those that meet this need will benefit in the future.