What We’re Saying

“COMING TOGETHER” MCCP COVID-19 CONSUMER RESEARCH PROGRAMME

23 June 2020

Why we did it

It’s fair to say the last few weeks have hit us harder than anyone could have thought. The idea that our economy would come to a halt and we would be confined to our homes is still a surreal idea for most. The big question we are all asking ourselves now, is what can we do?

In MCCP, we believed the right thing to do was to understand what we’re facing, look at our options before we start to act. Therefore, we began our Covid-19 Consumer Research Programme to understand consumers current fears, changing behaviours and evolving needs, so we can determine how brands and leaders can act.

 

What we found

We conducted research groups with a broad mix of age groups and family types and we are beginning to see emerging themes arise. Luckily, we had been operating focus groups and workshops with international clients over Zoom before the Covid-19 crisis, so were able to adapt quickly.

It’s not about me, it’s about we – the prevailing concern is for others rather than self. The term “vulnerable group” is extremely broad and very close to home for most; be it elderly grandparents, spouses with underlying health conditions and even children with serious medical conditions. This sense of concern is manifesting in a demand for those who are able to help to help, and the belief that they have a duty to do so.

People want brands to step out from the shadows – There is a strong belief in consumers’ minds that many big brands are standing in the shadows and doing the minimum whereas others are stepping forward and putting the nations interests ahead of their own.  They really want brands to be proactive and reach out to customers in distress and do what they can to support their communities. People believe genuine acts of good faith during this time will be remembered, as will those who fail to act.  

 

“This is not about who you are or where you’re from, we’re all in this together, Ireland’s collective spirit is coming to the fore and getting stronger every day. It’s the brands that join us for the collective good that will be remembered and those that don’t will be remembered as well”

 

People are revaluating what truly matters in life – Consumers are revaluating their behaviours and starting to prioritise what’s truly important in life. They are beginning to question impulsive and unnecessary purchases believing there are far more important things to focus on at this time.  They believe the longer this crisis goes on for the more lasting these behaviours will be and the stronger a psychological shift will be away from consumerism to something in their minds that is less shallow and more meaningful. Currently, this has resulted in a heightened sense of conscious consumption and the big question is will this be lasting or temporary? 

How brands need to respond

Step forward - Consumers are looking for “proactivity” from big brands, they want brands to step forward and support those in need. It is time for brands demonstrate their values for the good of our nation.  This can be both small and big, from reaching out to a customer having difficulty paying a bill to providing lifesaving equipment to those working on the frontlines.

Re-evaluate - When the dust settles, the world as we knew it a few weeks ago is likely to be a very different one moving forward, and what we valued and how we behaved will likely be very different too.  Brands will need to go through a period of self-reflection so they can adapt to the emerging value set being created during this time. They need to get out and talk to their customers, decide what choices they can make and take back control. 

 

“The price of inaction is far greater than the cost of making a mistake”

 

If you want to discuss how we can work together to to be part of MCCP’s Covid-19 Research Programme, please contact Declan Flynn, Senior Business Development Manager, MCCP, at declan@mccp.ie to discuss this further.

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