In a post-Covid-19 world, consumers expect brands to act like experts, be more empathetic and contribute towards their mental and emotional well-being, as per the findings of the 'Meaningful Brands 2020' study (Covid edition) by Havas Group India.
The global study was conducted across 5 markets – India, Singapore, Indonesia, Philippines & South Korea – with the idea of identifying the meaningful shifts across APAC.
What were the findings?
- High level of optimism in India - As per the findings, India is one of the most optimistic countries in APAC. 53.3% of consumers in India (Versus APAC average of 39%) show an overwhelming optimism towards the country’s economic growth in the future, one of the highest in the APAC. A large number of consumers surveyed believe that the future is optimistic, and the slowdown due to Covid-19 is temporary. Most experts would find this an interesting trend coming from a market that has been battered by the pandemic and has clocked one of the highest numbers of cases globally.
- Rise up brands - This rising optimism is getting translated into rising expectation, something which the brands are not necessarily able to rise up to. Brands have not kept pace in meeting these expectations of the ‘optimistic’ and ‘demanding’ consumers and they have to play catch-up in becoming meaningful enough to this set of customers.
- Health and safety come first - An obvious impact of the pandemic has been consumers’ increased expectations from brands to innovate with an enhanced focus on their health and safety. The post-pandemic consumer expects these innovations to be tactile and practical. As per the study, 61% of the consumers expect brand innovations that enable them to stay healthy or ensure their safety.
- Get transparent and honest - Highest standards of safety and hygiene is the top-most ask from the brands with 58% of the consumers wanting brands to become more transparent and honest about their processes and products. Never has been the demand for honesty been more pronounced than now, as consumers reconcile to sweeping changes in their lives.
Elaborating on the studyNeeraj Bassi, chief strategy officer, Havas Group Indiasaid: “it attempts to find the recalibration of expectation due to lockdown and how can brands navigate the new normal to stay meaningful to their franchise.” The true differentiator of this edition is actionability by identifying meaningful shifts across consumer categories, that can help brands close the expectation gap created due to the pandemic, he adds.
Some sector-wise trends and opportunity areas:
- FMCG: 44% consumers expect brands to provide ways to manage household chores better, 42% want ideas from brands that help them entertain themselves.
- E-commerce: 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
- Retail: 59% consumers expect brands to show the protective measures they have taken considering the pandemic.