Consumers Care About Brands’ Response To COVID-19, Study Says

The news has captivated people in recent weeks as they follow the latest updates on COVID-19 and its repercussions on their lives, businesses and the economy. But consumers around the globe aren’t only interested in coronavirus news—they’re also interested in how brands are responding.

A new report conducted by American Association of Advertising Agencies (4A’s) and Suzy, a real-time platform, surveyed 1,000 consumers on March 18 to learn about how consumers feel about brand communication during the COVID-19 outbreak, and how the virus is affecting their everyday lives. The results showed that 43 percent of consumers find it reassuring to hear from brands they know during this time, and 40 percent want to learn about how brands are responding to the pandemic. Just 15 percent of consumers said they did not wish to hear from brands they know during this time. What do consumers want to hear about the most? Most (56 percent) consumers want to know how brands are helping their communities, including monetary or product donations.

Consumers are also interested in learning about the paid time off companies are offering their employees who are unable to work due to business closures. This interest was ranked highest by respondents ages 18 to 24 (62.5 percent), followed by respondents ages 25 to 34 (60.5 percent), 35 to 49 (55.9 percent), 50 to 64 (48.9 percent) and 65+ (40.7 percent). Contrastingly, consumers age 65+ were most concerned (51.9 percent, the majority of this age group) with knowing more about companies’ cleaning producers during this time.

The results of the survey also offer a glimpse at how life has changed for consumers during this time. Forty-nine percent of consumers said they are not dining out, and 27 percent are opting for food-delivery services or takeout instead. Some participants expressed that the coronavirus did not change their daily routines (15 percent), with the greatest concentration of these respondents in Michigan, Texas and Pennsylvania.

In terms of spending, 44 percent of consumers said they don’t feel comfortable venturing out for non-essential items, and 37 percent said they are making purchases online rather than in stores. When consumers were asked about items they intended to purchase over the next 30 days, the majority said food (84 percent), and more than half said household supplies (72 percent) and beauty/personal care (52 percent). Other products include medical and health care (50 percent), streaming entertainment (37 percent), books (28 percent), toys/arts and crafts (26 percent), office supplies (23 percent), electronics (20 percent), educational materials (19 percent), home renovation supplies (17 percent), and streaming exercise classes and equipment (15 percent).

For the full study, click here.

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