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How Has the Pandemic Impacted Your Brand?

Jessica Buchholz by Jessica Buchholz, Events Coordinator | June 30, 2020
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There are wonderful people that work very hard to understand the world around them for the benefit of others. These people aren’t simply watching TV, reading commentary, or listening to podcasts; they are collecting data and refining raw information into something useful. When variables hit a market, shifts in consumer buying patterns and perceptions are expected. The more pervasive the variable, the bigger the market impact. Beyond sales, market variables can impact your brand. Businesses, organizations, and governmental entities need to understand brand impacts or they could suffer long term business harm.
Kurt Bartolich is the Founder and the Brand & Research Strategist for Brand Certain. I’ve known Kurt for years, and he is one of the leading experts in brand analysis in the nation. He works with businesses, communities, large organizations, and regions to identify brand identity and shifts in consumer perception. When Kurt reached out and said “hey, your members should really understand what is going on with the shifts in consumer brand perceptions due to Covid” I paid attention. What followed was a transfer of data that shows how consumer attitudes are shifting, and what your business can do to capitalize on changes in consumer mind sets.
We have direct links to brand related data shifts due to Covid (CLICK HERE for the overview, CLICK HERE for more specific data), but here is an overview of some of the information contained within the data sets:

  1. There is definitely a psychographic break in how individuals view brands and responses to the Covid pandemic.
  2. Different regions (Midwest, South, and West) are responding to the pandemic differently.
  3. Families with younger children seem more ready to move on from the crisis.
  4. Businesses continue to press forward with pandemic specific information, and the consuming public seems evenly split on their “fatigue” with pandemic messaging.
  5. People were tired of messages that seemed excessive, the same as other messages/repetitive, or seemed to exploit the situation.
  6. People were not as fatigued when they listened to messages that were rooted in social responsibility, or served as a “reality check”.
  7. Political affiliation served as a major dividing point on the extent of reopening the economy.
  8. Consumers were open to messages of vigilance in the face of the pandemic, and they also were receptive to traditional media messages for products and services.
  9. Midwest consumers were most likely to view certain pandemic messages as exploitative.
  10. Consumers are still planning on major purchases within the next 60 days.
  11. Vulnerability to competitive brands is high.
  12. Most consumers are driven by concerns about safety, and sales/discounts.
  13. Transparency in how the pandemic has impacted your business is important. Business saw a 20% improvement in how people felt about their brand based on transparency.
  14. Consumers want businesses that are honest, genuine, authentic, convenient, solve problems, transparent, and adaptive (in that order of relevance)
  15. Due to the high degree of brand vulnerability, it is VERY important to listen to your customers AND adapt to their needs.

Click the links supplied by Brand Certain for a much more detailed analysis of brand related consumer responses. By utilizing the information contained within the reports, and comparing it to your customer base, you can better establish a brand strategy that fits your customer. Remember, you don’t own your brand; your brand is based on the perceptions of your customer. Appealing to your customer with strategies backed by data can give you a competitive advantage when trying to attract disposable income.
Having trouble interpreting some of the data and developing a plan for your business? Contact Emporia Main Street for assistance.
If your business, organization, or region wants to understand your brand to facilitate growth during this pandemic and beyond, now might be the time to contact Brand Certain with Kurt Bartolich.

About the Author

Jessica Buchholz, Events Coordinator

Jessica Buchholz is the Community Development Coordinator for Emporia Main Street in Emporia, Kansas. She specializes in event planning, volunteer recruitment, alternative marketing, media/public relations and fundraising. During Jessica's tenure at Emporia Main Street, she has helped grow events to an international level and she has created a series of new activities to meet organizational goals.

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