COVID-19 is testing every facet of our global society, including the role of brands, and new research from renowned brand trust researcher Edelman shows nearly two-thirds of consumers believe their countries won't even make it through the crisis without brands playing a critical role.
The study, a special report entitled "Brand Trust and the Coronavirus Pandemic," is based on a global study of 12,000 people fielded in 12 nations last week and it also finds that brands already are doing a better job than most governments, so far. A slight majority (55%) of consumers say brands are responding quicker and more effectively to the pandemic than government has.
"Brands can build a new level of connection with consumers or lose the relationship forever," founder and chief Richard Edelman writes in a blog discussing the new report. "Sixty-five percent of respondents said that a brand’s response in the crisis will have a huge impact on their likelihood of purchasing it in the future.
"Sixty percent said that they are turning to brands that they absolutely can trust. Over one-third of consumers said that they have started using a new brand because of the innovative or compassionate way that it has responded.
"By contrast, there is great risk to brands that are perceived to be acting unsympathetically. One-third of respondents have already convinced other people to stop using a brand that was not acting appropriately."
The study also analyzes the appropriateness of various media that consumers expect brands to utilize for communicating messages during the crisis, and while broad-based media such as TV, radio and newspapers were deemed the most appropriate overall worldwide, in U.S. respondents indicated a preference for a more personalized, one-to-one medium: email, followed by TV/radio/newspapers.