Staying afloat during a crisis

How consumers and brands are surviving the ‘no normal’.

Staying afloat during a crisis | IpsosAt the end of 2019, Ipsos asked people for their thoughts on the year and their predictions for 2020. Nearly two in three (65%) said they thought 2019 was bad year for their country, but three in four (75%) globally were optimistic 2020 was going to be a better year for them.

Few would have predicted that “self-isolate”, “quarantine” and “lockdown” would become part of our daily vernacular. The dramatic shift in consumer behaviour coronavirus has wreaked over 2020 has been mesmeric.

In February, Ipsos began tracking the impact of the pandemic on consumer behaviour, attitudes, and future outlook. By August 2020, our tracker had expanded to cover 16 countries – and added a longitudinal global ethnographic study to inform a balanced understanding of the crisis journey.

COVID-19 is a unique crisis in not only the health problems it creates, but also the associated financial problems. Six months into the pandemic one in two globally have been directly impacted by or concerned with the health and/or financial ramifications coronavirus has caused. However, there are variations across countries with this rising to four in five (80%) in Latin America.

We also find ourselves operating amidst a widening socio-political divide in some countries – and all of this is playing out against the backdrop of a long-term environmental crisis. Across the 16 countries we surveyed, concerns are split between COVID-19/Health (32%) and the Economy/Finances (33%) with Political/Social issues and Inequality a significant part of the picture (22%). But, in some countries – in particular, Germany, the US, South Africa and France – we see political and social issues assuming even greater importance.

In many ways, the combination of financial and health worries is manifesting itself as a “control crisis” – where individual lack of empowerment is coupled with perceptions that surrounding institutions are also “out of control”.

In this world of changing crises, how do brands respond? To learn more about public opinion during the pandemic and how brands can help consumers read Staying Afloat during a Crisis: How consumers and brands are surviving the new normal.

We have brought together additional perspectives from behaviour science, in How COVID-19 has brought behaviour change thinking into focus, and looking at three of the countries worst hit by coronavirus: USA, Brazil and Italy.

Consumer & Shopper