Do consumers react differently to branding?

Study on Marketing in Times of Crisis: Consumers Need Orientation
Addressing the crisis state in brand communication is counterproductive

03.03.2020 – 10:00

Brand Science Institute (BSI)

Hamburg (ots)

The coronavirus, which is rampant worldwide, is currently unsettling people and companies. For fear of falling demand and declining income, many decision-makers react drastically: In some cases, marketing expenses are massively reduced or even stopped.

But especially in times of crisis, people need orientation and are looking for security - also and especially with well-known brands. The Brand Science Institute determined this in an ad hoc study, for which around 1,100 people between the ages of 18 and 65 were asked about the role of marketing and the brand in times of crisis.

"Irritation, uncertainty and disorientation are the dominant drivers in crises. They have a significantly negative effect on purchasing and investment decisions. However, this shock-like state is only of short duration. The dissonances produced by crises are attempted by stabilizing one's own condition and familiar processes restore, "said Dr. Nils Andres, founder and managing director of the Brand Science Institute.

According to the crisis perception: increased reward mechanism

So these factors have a short-term effect. Then, however, a process begins that would like to bring the person back to normal. The increased exchange with the social environment and a reward mechanism play a role here, which leads to increased consumption.

"In the study we found that traditional and lived values ​​of brands can create communicative security. This communicative security paired with a perspective - the creation of a world with positive future events - are factors in marketing that should be exhausted a special meaning in the restoration of the normal state ", so Andres.

How crises work in different age groups

Especially with people between 45 and 65 years of age, the creation of communicative security after perception of the crisis often leads to purchase acts.

Consumers between the ages of 18 and 35 try to restore normal in a similar way. In a relative comparison, however, they have a much stronger tendency to create experiences. Brands can promote these experiences both in real and virtually via the massive broadcast of images and moving image content via social media.

Older target groups rate the remembrance of traditional brand values ​​positively, while younger target groups try to regain their normal state through distraction and a massive urge to experience. This does not necessarily have to be real, but can also work through image and video content from brands.

Addressing the crisis counterproductive

The conclusion of the study: "The perception of brands in times of crisis leads to an improvement in two senses when addressed correctly. While some are cutting budgets and putting their activities on hold, others can be a pillar in uncertain times that is increasingly perceived", explains Dr. Nils Andres.

Addressing the state of crisis, however, has a counterproductive effect, since the irritation is looking for other solution models. Constant communication as before the crisis also falls short of expectations. Brands that communicate in the usual way are even less perceived in times of massive crises.

The expert's recommendation: "Brands should address the basic motives of uncertainty and offer a solution in the form of lived values ​​and additional experience creation".

About the Brand Science Institute:

The Brand Science Institute is an international consulting company based in Hamburg that specializes in the development of modern communication approaches and brand management models. It sees itself as a knowledge transformer between science and practice and supports companies and agencies in the implementation of innovative brand research.

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Original content from: Brand Science Institute (BSI), transmitted by news aktuell