Innovating in challenging times: Research during COVID-19

Doing research during a crisis allows businesses to better predict and prepare for what to do next.

The author(s)

  • Colin Ho Innovation and Market Strategy & Understanding, US
  • Virginia Weil Global Service Line Leader, Innovation, US
  • Jiongming Mu Global Head of Innovation Testing and Forecasting, Innovation, Canada
  • Supriya Chabria Innovation, US
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Innovating in challenging times | Ipsos | Concept testingThe COVID-19 pandemic is an unprecedented event and created a world which is more complex and fluid than it was at the beginning of the year.

During a time of crisis, consumer attitudes and behaviours go through great change, and some of those new attitudes and behaviours will become permanent. From our research we found consumers are more open to new ideas during a crisis since their usual habits have been interrupted.

To help get a better understanding of how a crisis may impact survey results, we analysed Ipsos’ concept testing database of 45,000 concepts based across 93 countries. Specifically, we looked at the last financial crisis, which started in 2008, comparing it to the recent years of 2016-2019.

While we realise the current COVID-19 crisis is quite different, there is still a severe financial impact in addition to the health crisis, so we believe the results provide a valuable learning.

Our key takeaways from our research:

  • While every situation is unique and there will be cases where it will be good to postpone or stop research, there are also important learnings that can be gathered.
  • Research during a crisis can help understand what actions need to be taken now and in the future as some of the changes in attitudes and behaviours will become permanent.
  • Understanding how innovations can be launched in an eCommerce environment and utilisation of digital solutions is more critical now than ever before.
  • Data shows that consumers may be more open to new ideas during a crisis since their usual habits have been interrupted. Understanding what resonates with consumers is key.

The paper is co-written by Colin Ho, Virginia Weil, Jiongming Mu and Supriya Chabria from Ipsos.

The author(s)

  • Colin Ho Innovation and Market Strategy & Understanding, US
  • Virginia Weil Global Service Line Leader, Innovation, US
  • Jiongming Mu Global Head of Innovation Testing and Forecasting, Innovation, Canada
  • Supriya Chabria Innovation, US

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