Report Reveals Brands’ Power Amid COVID-19 Era
Ad Agencies Study Brand Impact and How These Can Improve Their Purpose, Presence
SAN JUAN – Puerto Rico media agency Horoma3 sought to answer whether, at a time like this, amid the coronavirus pandemic, should brands express themselves, and if so, how they should address consumers.
The firm, which comprises agencies de la Cruz, Lopito, Ileana & Howie and Sajo/McCann Puerto Rico, studied the impact that brands have and how they can “enhance their purpose and presence among consumers.”
The largest independent media negotiation and buying company on the island used information from the market analysis as well as global industry data.
Saying that “identifying with people’s feelings, appealing to their emotions and their needs is essential,” Horoma3 added that having “a purpose at all times is crucial to achieve a favorable position within the consumers around the world. Today, facing the COVID-19 crisis, it becomes even more relevant, for which it is when they should be more present.”
The consumer’s mindset, the agency said, has “changed these days due to the pandemic. Their priorities focus on aspects related to safety, health, resources and personal needs such as food, water, etc. Given this, brand messages must adjust to what people really feel and need right now. In order to have a clear perspective on the importance of the issue of social responsibility at a general level, it is known that 62% of consumers want companies to take a stand on social, cultural, environmental and political issues close to their hearts,” a sentiment reflected in a global study carried out by Accenture, the agency said.
“We’re living moments of change. Everything has been impacted. The consumer has as a priority right now health, family, safety and food. Brands are part of their lives and as such they are part of the conversation. Therefore, it is crucial at this time to identify how they can find their space among them without looking opportunistic. Brands with a purpose are very important for the consumer,” Horoma3 said in a release.
Consumers have shown positive attitudes regarding brand communication during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“A recent study by 4A’S found that 56% are pleased to hear about brands taking actions like making donations of goods and services. Meanwhile, 43% say it is reassuring to hear from brands they know and trust,” the agency pointed out.
Another finding: Consumers expect brands to provide relevant information and guidance such as: special hours and services, particularly for the elderly, additional measures taken for hygiene and safety, as well as home delivery and payment alternatives.
“The creativity of brands to adapt to the crisis and help consumers has already been represented in perfume and liquor companies that have produced hand sanitizer and ethyl alcohol; service expansion in supermarkets such as online shopping, special hours and service lines directed to segments that require priority; entertainment, exercise sessions and others through social media; as well as food donation to health service centers by food service brands,” Horoma3 said.
Among other changes that stem from the social distancing measures in effect: Between March 16 and 20 there was a 35% increase in TV viewership in Puerto Rico, according to Nielsen. Likewise, there has been an increase in visits to local media websites.
“Certainly, consumer behavior will continue to change as the COVID-19 crisis progresses. With this in mind, brands have proven that they have the power to make a difference. It is in moments of crisis when creativity and innovation are most relevant to finding solutions and new ways to help communities and the world, demonstrating that brands do have great power amidst COVID-19,” the agency assured.