QUICK READ: Some brands understand that this is a time to give back to the community rather than use the pandemic as a marketing position. Consumers will remember and some a lot of brands are going to be left sitting on the shelf because they thought about profits first.
Frito-Lay understands what we’re going through. Their spot “the world doesn’t need brands to tell them how to think or feel” is excellent. In the spot, they talk about the 3,000 jobs they’re adding and the $15 million in relief for hard struck communities. This is a brand that understands now is the time to give back.
Consumers are hurting right now. It’s estimated that around 40% of waking Americans are unemployed. While spending has taken a nose dive off the cliff consumers are saving more money. This is a trend that’s probably not going to be reversed for a long long time.
A report from financial services firm Cowen, which polled 2,500 U.S consumers in mid-May, found that 76% of respondents expect to spend either the same amount or more in the upcoming month. That’s up 10 points compared to mid-April, when 66% said the same.
Among the survey participants, 65% said they received a stimulus check. The majority (63%) of this subgroup plan to either save the extra income, use it to pay down debt, or put it toward housing costs. In other words, it won’t get used on discretionary goods and services.
So instead of drowning consumers will be treading water. If you think that the same old brand strategy is going to survive and make consumers buy your product you’re sadly mistaken.
Today purpose-driven companies witness higher market share gains and grow three times faster on average than their competitors, all while achieving higher workforce and customer satisfaction.
The Cone/Porter Novelli survey found that 66% would switch from a product they typically buy, to a new product from a Purpose-driven company. This figure goes up to 91% when Millennials (born 1980–1994) are polled. The survey also found that 78 % of consumers would tell others to buy from a Purpose-driven company and that 68% are more willing to share content with their social networks over that of traditional companies. 73% of consumers are also willing to stand up for a Purpose-driven brand if it is spoken badly of.
Americans want brands to donate and help communities taking the hardest hit, such as those unemployed, on a low income, homeless and elderly. Sixty-seven percent think companies should donate supplies (a hike of seven percent in one week). The biggest increase is in those who think brands should donate money (+11 percent from 43 to 54 percent). Meanwhile, 13 percent want to see firms create humorous content to watch or read (an increase of four percent).
It’s obvious the same old “buy me” brand message is not going to fly. With more competition than ever, brands need to clearly communicate that they are ready to help us get back on our feet. Brands that donate their products, like soda, are not going to cut it with angry customers.
Another brand that comes to mind is Corona beer. You would think with a brand name like Corona they would be staying off the air bit they’re running spots talking about their donation to the restaurant employees relief fund.
Now more than ever brands need to show consumers just how much WE mean to them. Big brands that can’t or won’t are going. to be huge losers.