Should brands be more vocal about Coronavirus? Article icon


Nearly half of UK consumers say they don’t know which are the best brands or organisations to support in order to help with coronavirus, according to a new report.

‘Brands and businesses have told consumers what they are doing but failed to tell consumers how they can help,’ revealed research firm Opinium in Brand marketing in a crisis: Why now is not the time for silence.

But they don’t want to hear this information from the chief executive or their favourite Love Island contestant. Nearly four in ten consumers want to hear from the front lines of industry as the pandemic continues, with just fewer than a third saying the same about the CEO. Three in 20 want to hear from third party experts, whilst just five per cent want to hear from influencers, and even fewer from celebrities.

When it comes to brands too, it depends on the sector. Whilst healthcare, supermarkets and retailers are among those that UK consumers want to hear more from during the coronavirus pandemic, on the whole, consumers want to hear the same amount as before the pandemic from brands.

For example, whilst the health sector is in the biggest demand from consumers wanting to hear more, 47 per cent just want to hear the same as they always did. At the other end of the spectrum, just one in ten consumers want to hear more from the gym and fitness sector during the pandemic, but 45 per cent want to hear the same as they did before.

Indeed, seven in ten consumers are looking for ways to keep some normality in their lives. More than a third would prefer brands to talk about something other than the pandemic and many believe that brands are ‘jumping on the bandwagon’ with their messaging around coronavirus.

However, Opinium also suggests that the more vocal brands are perceived to have responded better to the crisis. For instance, more than a quarter of consumers think the automotive industry hasn’t done anything in response to coronavirus - more than any other sector - followed closely by fashion and beauty.

The pandemic has also had an impact on the news we consume. The large majority of respondents say we could use some good news, with almost a third reporting that they have actively begun to avoid the news since the pandemic began. Many say they are turning to entertainment, whilst around two in five purport to be watching more live TV than they would usually. Just fewer than a third say TV adverts would be their preferred form of brand communications, second only to email.