Modern Marketing Brand Purpose

59% of Brits are budgeting for the cost-of-living crisis

By John Glenday | Reporter

April 25, 2022 | 4 min read

British brands have been warned that they must adapt marketing communications to take into account the cost-of-living crisis if they are to remain relevant to consumers in a new era of high inflation.

The stark message comes courtesy of Havas Media Group, which took time out to quiz 700 consumers online to establish how the cost-of-living crisis is impacting their spending habits.


Brands are bracing for lean times as the cost-of-living crisis bites

Employing proprietary Meaningful Brands methodology, the survey cautions that sitting out the storm is not an option amid an expectation that the crisis could last two years or more, forcing marketers to adapt for the medium term.

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This comes as 59% of consumers prepare to tighten their purse strings as ructions in the relationship between people and brands look set for a permanent shift.

Driven by fast-changing consumer expectations, the survey found that 63% apportion greater responsibility to the firms behind their purchases, with 74% prioritizing brands that stay true to their word, as well as quality products and services.

The rupture from the pre-pandemic status quo brings further ramifications on what is perceived to be fair pricing, with a huge three-quarter net increase in the number of people stating it’s important that pricing is seen to be transparent. Following on from this, there has been a 77% net increase in the number of people reporting that it is important brands help them save money.

Tony Mattson, head of strategy at Havas Media Group, said: “The cost-of-living crisis presents a fundamental challenge to marketers as the number of people in market and their intended spend are depressed and will continue to be so for some time. However, the effects of the crisis will be felt unevenly, and the smartest marketers will be attuned to this.

“Brands will need to create meaningful experiences around their products and services tailored and made relevant to the needs and mindsets of different audiences. Flexibility, adaptability and an understanding of context will be critical to retaining and winning people’s trust.”

A deluge of well-meaning advice has previously seen BBH London call on brands to show their ‘human face’ by personalizing interactions with hard-pressed consumers.

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