Kantar’s covid-19 Barometer highlights expectations from brands in the post-pandemic phase
Even as industries gear up towards revival mode following complete lockdown across several countries, consumers expect brands to keep advertising and acknowledge the crisis with 64% of consumers stating that they are looking for help and advice for themselves and their communities (65%) in the adverts they see and in actual brand behaviour, findings from the fifth wave of Kantar’s Covid-19 Barometer revealed. The study tracked people’s attitudes, behaviours and expectations across more than 50 markets.
The report further highlighted that only one third of people (37%) expect to return to non-essential consumer behaviour before 2-3 months. Moreover, across the world 66% of people say they will continue to avoid busy places, meaning there will be a drag on physical retail environments. “Persistent safety concerns, financial pressures and sticky new behaviours mean consumers will not return to pre-pandemic behaviour any time soon. Marketers will need to pivot to finding growth in recession; delivering increasing value in the short-term to address growing economic concerns while innovating their way to sustained relevancy as behaviours and priorities change long-term,” the study elaborated.
According to Soumya Mohanty, chief client officer, South Asia, Insights Division, Kantar, Indians are still in the phase between a lockdown and unlock. Some habits are starting to stick – eating healthy, hygiene while new ones around social distancing are emerging. “The way we shop and interact will change but in an emerging, aspirational market the meaning of sustainability and responsible consumption differs. Brands will need to move from emotional succour and social solidarity to fundamentals of value, functionality, innovative delivery and simple mental availability. Simplicity could well be the new mantra as we navigate an uncertain world,” she added further.
Interestingly, people have also begun to like their lockdown habits with 45% (rising to 50%+ of households with kids) of consumers saying they are prepared to keep using products and online stores they found while in lockdown. These changes, according to the study, lead to different needs and spending patterns, and with more than half the world also feeling financial pressure, brands need to ensure their products make the cut in being considered vital in the new rhythms of life. Infact, 53% of consumers are paying more attention to products on sale (vs 36% in wave1).
Adapting to life post pandemic, we’ve started to appreciate, and want to maintain our newly formed healthy behaviours, our more considered and purposeful personal connections and our online shopping habits, Rosie Hawkins, chief innovation officer, Kantar observed. “Brands and companies first and foremost need to ensure that their goods and services are safe to use and that precautions have been taken to guarantee this. As lock down restrictions lift, consumers’ lives will continue to change and so brands will need to reassert their relevance in these new environments,” she opined.