Newsroom Editor

Last week, Dirk Herbert, Chief Strategy Officer for Dentsu Aegis Network Americas, shared key insights from our acclaimed COVID-19 Crisis Navigator. The study leveraged the concept of the five stages of grief as a framework to gather insights on how consumers are coping with the crisis and what expectations are informing their relationships with brands at this time.

Here are four initial takeaways:

Your Brand’s “Voice” Is More Important Than Ever

46% consumers say they are paying more attention to brands at this time. As many as 44% respondents state that they would think less of brands that don’t acknowledge the crisis. So even though consumers may be less inclined to try new brands and products at the moment, be aware that the perception of your brand’s response to the crisis is a key to retaining your customers. Most importantly, consumers want brands to demonstrate their values: to communicate what they are doing for their employees, to contribute to causes in aid to those in need, and to provide them with discounts and offers to take some of the pressure off.

Clarity Fosters Positivity

In the last couple of weeks more and more consumers have surpassed the initial shock stage and many of them are moving from a state of coming to grips with the crisis to an emotional state where they feel adjusted to living a new normal. However, as many as 48% respondents still feel uncomfortable leaving their home. Consumers are expecting brands to make access to their products and services convenient (for instance, by making online shopping options available to them) and clear: information regarding opening hours, safety precautions and employee policies are valued highly as consumers are determining whether it’s “worth to make the trip”.

Understand Generational Priorities

The study shows loud and clear that different generations are reacting to the crisis in different ways. While Boomers are understandably most worried about the risk of contracting the virus, Millennials are focusing on the impact it has on socialization and mental health. On the other hand, GenX respondents are mostly concerned with caring for others and adjusting to working from home. As many as 46% Boomers want to continue with stay at home orders. While Millennials are prioritizing entertainment, Gen X is valuing information and support above everything else. These different mindsets should be taken in consideration by brands when developing messaging targeted to different customer segments.

Strive For Leadership in Your Community

As most consumers are starting to accept that they live in a new normal, they now need to see leadership and progress against the larger crisis. A running theme is that the crisis is felt locally, so consumers will value brands that launch initiatives with a tangible impact at that level. Overall, marketers should start thinking long-term about how to remove friction from the customer journey by considering the lasting effects of the crisis.

View the on-demand recording of Dirk’s LiveTalk here to uncover how these findings might translate into what you and your brand should do next. If you missed the opportunity to participate in the live Q&A, we are here to answer your questions! Drop us a note, we would love to hear from you and help you navigate this new normal.