The actions and messaging by retailers during the past year’s COVID-19 pandemic is influencing consumer perception and behavior, according to a Jigsaw study that polled 2,000 consumers in the U.S and U.K. in November 2020.
The report from the strategic insights agency focused on understanding how much a brand’s response to the pandemic has changed consumer thinking. It reveals that in the U.S., 86% of people have changed their perception and 70% have changed their behavior toward certain companies because of the pandemic.
In fact, 78% of consumers now think better of at least one brand and 61% have started purchasing from at least one new brand. On the other hand, 61% of people think worse of at least one brand, and 38% have stopped using at least one brand, according to a press release on the findings.
“The report finds that these significant shifts are happening as a consequence of a climate of heightened moral judgment created by the pandemic and other events of 2020, including the black Lives Matter movement and the broader political situation. Consumers have become sensitized towards what brands are doing and saying based on what they feel is right or wrong, fair or just, and a new landscape of brand ‘heroes’ and ‘villains’ is emerging,” stated the release.
“Our report shows how paramount it is for retailers, and brands in general, to adapt to the changing situation. Consumers are voting with their feet, so what companies do and how they communicate in the current climate really matters. COVID-19 is unfortunately not a flash in the pan — the impact will be profound and long-lasting,” Julie Knox, Jigsaw CEO, said in the release.
“By understanding the lenses through which people judge brands in this new moral space, companies can achieve a crucial leg up in terms of driving their response and framing their messages. Connecting with consumers to find out how they are thinking, feeling, and behaving will be a vital piece of the puzzle.”