How should brands act on consumers' calls for empathy? Findings from France.

on 26/03/2020

As the Coronavirus pandemic gathers strength, consumers are assailed by new challenges. As their concern with staying healthy increases, so does their desire for brands to be transparent, ethical and supportive.

Why was the research conducted?

Consumption and the consumer-brand relationship cannot but be affected by this new situation. To decode French consumers’ expectations, Adwise conducted an online community with 18 people between the ages of 25 and 55 in France, whilst in the midst of the first wave of the COVID-19 crisis.

How was the research conducted?

The research was conducted using an online community using AdWise's digital platform.

What are the key findings of the research?

Tomorrow's brands will have to bring collective benefits. The research identified a number of points summarised here and available on AdWise's website namely:

Go back to the essential
All of the people surveyed expressed the desire to “go back to the essential”. “The essential” can be understood as that which still remains open – everything else is superfluous. But behind this somewhat perfunctory view related to the specificity of the situation, i.e. shops being closed, we can glimpse a desire to put more thought into their consumption, “to differentiate between what we have too much of and what we lack”.

Brands are expected to be socially involved
The French consumers surveyed expect brands to respond to the current situation. A recent study reveals that 55% of consumers feel that brands have greater power than governments to create a better future.

Consumers want empathy and collective benefits
In this context, brands need to do a better job of adapting their messages, and above all they must think about the future. The current crisis has the effect of raising expectations for brands to be committed (“what’s going to annoy me in the future is if their positioning isn’t sufficiently thought through and if they don’t really live up to it, as in green washing.”), consistent and aware.

Full research:

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Contributor's Name: Florence HUSSENOT