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    Your brand and COVID-19: Do you know where you stand?

    Ron Ruffinott, Senior Research Solutions Consultant

    What’s been happening out there

    What started out as weeks has now evolved into months of unprecedented disruption in consumer behaviors and priorities.  Driven by product availability and other dynamics of COVID-19, many consumers have:

    • Purchased from new product categories
    • Made brand and/or product substitutions
    • Become less price sensitive
    • Changed some of their selection criteria when choosing brands
    • Tried new services for the very first time like online shopping in general, online grocery delivery, and curbside pick-up

    Current market dynamics have driven many consumers to buy categories and brands that they might never normally have used, and this shift has occurred in a very short window of time.  When shelves return to a more natural state, what impact will these brand experiences have on your category or brand?

    Will consumers stick with the new brands or categories they’ve tried or revert to what they were buying previously?  Now that consumers have been able to evaluate a larger proportion of the category, will they base their future choices against brand loyalty, an out-and-out value proposition, or other factors?  Will selection criteria change, and how?

    What we’ve learned about consumers

    Through our COVID-19 Global Barometer, we’ve seen many signs of the disruption.  Globally, about one-third of consumers report buying new brands or categories.  Across various CPG categories, anywhere from one-third to one-half of consumers are open to buying a different brand if their preferred brand were not available.

    Around the world, people are less concerned about excess packaging and environmental impacts and more concerned about their own safety.  People also report that they are recycling less overall.  In cleaning products, people have been less interested in them being eco-friendly vs. efficacy.

    Other market data suggests that challenger brands are having a tough time meeting demand and are losing share to larger, more established brands, who had previously been under pressure to remain relevant.

    What clients have been asking as they contemplate next steps

    As we’ve been speaking with a variety of clients over the past several weeks, while articulated in different ways, consistent themes have emerged in terms of what they are most concerned about. What has become clear is that many clients are seeking answers on:

    • How has COVID-19 changed consumer behaviors and priorities for my category?
    • Which changes will be temporary, and which will be longer-term?
    • What are the future implications for my brand?
    • How should I adjust distribution, communications, and digital strategies to future-proof my brand?

    How to move forward

    Now is the time to understand what the future holds for your category and your brand specifically.  Our Research Services team has been working with many clients to understand the impact that COVID-19 will have on their business. 

    The team has developed a customizable quantitative survey approach to enable you to dive deep into your category of interest and understand the implications for your brand. 

    The approach explores category purchasing dynamics, segments category buyers by their primary motivations, measures recent brand purchases, what drove those purchases, and future purchase interest, as well as measuring the importance of category drivers, how they may have shifted, and if these are changes that are likely to remain.  Contact us today to see how we can help you understand what the future holds.

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