Almost half of consumers have changed their brand preference during the pandemic. How can you position your brand to become the go-to for new audiences and reinforce your relationship with your loyalists?
Why are preferences changing?
According to a report from Ketchum, 45% of consumers have changed their preferred brands during the course of the pandemic. The pandemic has changed the way consumers think about brands and the way they conduct their business. Today’s consumers are not simply looking for a product or service — they’re looking for a brand whose values align with theirs. In fact, “88% of consumers have stated that the coronavirus has made it more important for businesses to be ethical while 90% prefer to buy from businesses who emphasize employee and consumer safety” (marketingdive).
What does this mean for your brand?
These days, consumers are evaluating your brand against standards that go much deeper than the products and services you offer. Small brands who display clearly defined ethics and prioritize diversity and inclusion are gaining ground against well-established brands who do not take a stance. It’s clear that consumers expect brands to take a stance on controversial issues. Business Insider reports that “brands are more likely to be viewed unfavorably if they make no official statement” regarding key issues.
Brands cannot stay out of the conversation if they want to grow. Messaging and brand identity must be adjusted to clearly display ethical stances in order to connect with consumers in a deeper way. This starts with understanding your audience – your messaging needs to be genuine and authentic, otherwise, your audience will lose trust for your brand. Acts of social listening, like polling your audience and engaging in conversations via social media, are a great place to start determining exactly what your community of consumers want from your brand.
Consumers are changing the way they shop during the pandemic by evaluating the values, ethics, and safety standards of the brands they buy from. Now is the time to assess what ethical points you want your brand to stand for. Adjust your messaging to reach new audiences and establish a deeper connection with your current one — show the why behind your brand.