Pandemic Lessens Consumers' Confidence In Brands

COVID-19 is taking an emotional toll on consumers. Market research firm Forrester’s Consumer Energy Index, a data-driven framework that captures how ready and willing consumers are to reach out to brands at a given moment, found that consumers’ energy is down on all four of the metrics it tracks. Consumer confidence is down 10 points compared to the same time two years ago.

Forrester’s data shows that consumers feel fragmented and disconnected. The Index’s Identity metric, which measures consumers’ energy along a scale ranging from “oriented toward a tribe or community” at one end to “oriented toward one’s individual experience” at the other, has shifted 13 points toward a more isolationist outlook, from 46 to 33. This is the largest drop of any of the Index’s metrics.

Consumers also find it hard to believe that organizations will do the right thing. Trust, measuring consumer energy from “belief that others have good intentions,” to “doubt that others will keep their promises,” slipped 10 points toward distrust, from 56 to 46.

The Index does show that consumers are still interested in something new. Its Novelty metric is the least changed, with a scale ranging from “appetite for adventure and entertainment” to “desire for reassurance, safety and familiarity,” that slid only three points toward comfort, from 64 to 61. Forrester’s analysis of the findings suggests “the insular lifestyles of this moment are stimulating consumers’ appetite for entertainment, learning, or adventure to fill the social void.”

However, the findings point to consumers feeling less in control of their situation than they did two years ago. The Index’s Efficacy metric has slipped from 68 to 62 on a scale with “confidence in getting what one wants” at one end and “loss of control over personal circumstance” at the other.

Click here for more on the Index and what its findings mean for brands.

filed under March 2020
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