March 28, 2020

Updates and news on the coronavirus, or COVID-19, are changing rapidly. Companies and brands are communicating with consumers about how business is being impacted, how it affects consumers, and what they’re doing to keep everyone healthy. Using Suzy, a real-time market research platform, 4A’s Research surveyed 1000 consumers on March 18, 2020 to understand how consumers feel about brand communication during the pandemic and learn how COVID-19 is changing people’s daily routines.

43% of survey respondents said it’s reassuring to hear from brands they know and trust, while 40% want to hear what brands are doing in response to the pandemic. It’s interesting to note that only 15% said they do not want to hear from brands at this time. This shows consumers have positive attitudes towards brand communication during the coronavirus pandemic overall.

Campaign US just released an article with guidance for brands to continue to advertise during this time. Instead of focusing on sales, brands should build and reinforce relationships with customers.

What type of information should brands communicate to consumers? More than half (56%) of respondents are pleased to hear about brands taking actions to help out communities, like making donations of goods and services.

Offering paid time off for employees who are unable to work due to closures is the most important step consumers think brands should take in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Millennials and Gen Z respondents ranked this action quite high, as these age groups are most likely to be affected by such layoffs.

Increased cleaning of facilities and offering special hours for elderly consumers to shop are close behind. Consumers 50+ felt increased cleaning procedures are the most important information that brands can communicate. Our results show consumers are concerned about the health and well-being of those around them. Brands can use this information to tailor communications going forward.

Daily Routines Change

Coronavirus is affecting many aspects of people’s lives. We asked in what ways the coronavirus is impacting daily routines. Mostly, people are staying home:

  •     49% said they are not going out to eat (27% are ordering food delivery and/or takeout)
  •     44% are not comfortable going outside for non-essential items
  •     37% are buying items online, but not going in-store.

15% of respondents said that the coronavirus is not impacting their daily routines. When looking at regional differences, Michigan, Texas, and Pennsylvania are the states with the most survey respondents who said they are not changing their routines.

When asked the types of products people intend to purchase in the next 30 days, food, household supplies, beauty/personal care, and medical/healthcare products are obviously high on the list. Options like entertainment, craft products, and streaming exercise classes ranked lower. It will be interesting to see how buying habits change the longer the pandemic lasts.

4A’s Research will continue to gauge shifts in consumer behavior and sentiment regarding the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. Feel free to email us with topics or suggestions for future surveys.

By Christine Pelosi, Information Specialist, 4A’s Research, and Stacie Calabrese, VP, 4A’s Research, using real-time market research platform Suzy.



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