59% of the consumers have started to use brands’ relationship with their employees as an evaluation parameter
The 2020 Covid edition of the study was conducted across five markets – India, Singapore, Indonesia, Philippines and South Korea
At a time when the pandemic has significantly impacted consumer behaviour, the role of a brand in creating a meaningful connection with consumers is set to witness a transformation. According to the ‘Meaningful Brands 2020: Covid edition’ report by Havas Group India, 59% of the consumers have started to use brands’ relationship with their employees as an evaluation parameter. While, 61% of the consumers expect brand innovations that enable them to stay healthy or ensure their safety. Further, 58% of the consumers want brands to become more transparent and honest about their processes and products as they expect nothing less than the highest standards of safety.
The 2020 Covid edition of the study was conducted across five markets – India, Singapore, Indonesia, Philippines and South Korea. In India, the study focused on consumer expectations in the post lockdown scenario, how brands can deliver on those expectations by identifying four meaningful shifts. These include — sensory innovations to drive health and safety: advanced, specific safety measures that the consumer can touch and feel, taken into account for the concerns arising due to the pandemic; being well – mentally and physically: consumers expect brands to take care of their physical and mental health, relax procedures to help them; skin in the game post crisis: brand’s perspective and investment for greater good – help the economy/ category recover post crisis; and transparency: honesty in processes and an open dialogue with consumers.
The India edition attempts to find the recalibration of expectation due to lockdown and how brands can navigate the new normal to stay meaningful to their franchise, Neeraj Bassi, chief strategy officer, Havas Group India said. “The true differentiator of this Covid edition is actionability. The study measured meaningful criteria across seven key categories in India – Automobiles, Consumer Durables, FMCG, eCommerce, Beauty & Wellness, Retail and Telco and identified 4 Meaningful Shifts that can help brands close the expectation gap created due to the pandemic. We hope brands leverage these shifts and move forward on their meaningful journey,” he added further.
Interestingly, India emerged as the most optimistic country in APAC with 53.3% consumers in India (versus APAC average of 39%) showing overwhelming optimism towards the country’s economic growth in the future. This has further translated into rising expectations as consumers are giving the highest weightage to the collective benefits (34.5%) that brands have to offer versus functional and personal benefits. The study also revealed that consumers expect brands to act like experts, be more empathetic and contribute towards their mental and emotional well-being; 52% of the consumers are even ready to go vocal for local as their faith for local brands has been reinstated.
The findings have been distilled into opportunity areas by capturing shifts in each of the seven categories – automobiles, consumer durables, FMCG, eCommerce, beauty and wellness, retail and telco.
Automotive: 42% of the consumers believe that the role of automobile in handling daily chores has increased post-pandemic.
Consumer Durables: 64% consumers show intention to purchase a new product that offers to help them enhance their health and safety and 61% expect brands to play a more active role in helping them learn new skills that would help them to deal with the new normal.
FMCG: 44% consumers expect brands to provide ways to manage household chores better; 42% want ideas from brands that help them entertain themselves.
eCommerce: 54% consumers expect brands to show commitment towards helping the country wade through the crisis; 52% consumers expect brands to support those who were made redundant during the crisis
Beauty and Wellness: 60% consumers expect to see brands introducing new products that help them stay safe and healthy; 50% want enhanced safety and hygiene standards from the brands.
Retail: 59% consumers expect brands to show the protective measures they have taken considering the pandemic.
Telco: 58% consumers expect brands to ensure that they stay connected with their friends and family; 60% want enhanced customer service capable of handling queries in the new normal.