Half Life Of Brand Crisis: For Many Consumers, It's Half An Hour

Mostly I use this column to talk about how the real-time nature of programmatic media-buying and data targeting impacts brands and agencies, but another underlying theme is how consumer expectations of time also are changing as their access to information also becomes more real-time. So I wasn't surprised to see a study from brand safety firm Crisp indicating that consumer tolerance for a brand's response time to a crisis also is compressing.

While the crises and the way information about it spreads differently depending on the nature of the situation and the brand, the expectations of consumers generally is shifting toward immediacy.

More than half of consumers now expect a brand to respond to a crisis within an hour of it becoming public, while more than a third expect brands to respond within a half hour.

The findings, which comes from the firm's just-released 2019 Crisp Crisis Impact Report, is a guidepost for an era when "social media is increasingly weaponized and harmful content spreads in seconds," its authors write, adding that the data "validates that being the first to know, and thereby the first to act, is the most critical step in maintaining a strong reputation in the eyes of consumers."

The impact isn't just an intangible, "goodwill" factor for brands caught in crisis scenarios, but has a tangible bottom line impact on whether consumers will even do business with the brand.
Yes, the findings are based on self-reported responses, so take it for what it's worth, but a majority of adults in both the U.S. and the U.K. say they are unlikely to do business with brands that respond poorly and are incrementally more likely to use brands that respond well.

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