A man walks in the near empty Pentagon City Mall in Arlington, Virginia on March 17, 2020. – The … [+]
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Companies large and small are in uncharted territory amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Supply chains are stressed and demand is severely depressed. As brands attempt to navigate this new anxious reality, they are trying to maintain strong relationships with their customers.
How will brands want to speak to the Americans who are scared? According to YouGov data, just over half (53%) of US adults say they’re at least somewhat scared they will contract COVID-19. That will be our target audience.
Demographics: Who are brands talking to?
Let’s take a look at the demographic makeup of this group. For starters, members of this group are more likely to be Millennials: Those age 30 to 44 are over-represented among the group who are somewhat or very fearful of contracting COVID-19, compared to US adults in general, according to YouGov Profiles data.
Generally speaking, this group is also less wealthy and more risk averse when it comes to money. They’re more likely to have low gross personal incomes, between $10,000 and $20,000 per month but are more likely to have reported no change to their financial situation in the last month. And as for politics, they are much more likely to be Democrats.
What are the consumers’ attitudes?
Generally, this is a cautious audience, perhaps even more so as the world likely heads for unprecedented economic hardship. Coupled with the income demographics, YouGov data suggests this group is worried they’ll never be able to save for a rainy day, to say stocks are too risky and to say they don’t make financial decisions without talking to a professional.
They’re more likely to be receptive to brands who take a moral stand or get involved in social issues more so than the US population as a whole. Conversely, those Americans who believe COVID-19 poses a minimal risk (or no risk at all) to public health in the US are much less likely to like brands that have a moral message or get involved in social issues.
Some brands have already gone beyond just words of comfort: For example, in wartime-like fashion, Ford, GE and 3M are partnering to make protective equipment; breweries and distilleries are shifting to producing hand sanitizer; and Canada Goose is making medical gear.
Perhaps companies may want to enlist a celebrity to get their next message across: This group — who are more likely to only buy from the best known brands — is more likely to enjoy watching advertisements with their favorite celebrities and YouGov data shows they’re more more likely to be responsive to traditional advertising channels in general.
This group is also more likely to describe themselves as emotionally intelligent with good social skills.
How to reach them
Many firms have taken to email to communicate with customers during the COVID-19 pandemic and YouGov data suggests this group is much more likely than the general population to believe this is very useful.
Beyond email, this group is more likely than the US population say they love the ease of use of a chat bot, YouGov data shows.
YouGov data also suggests this group is more likely to say advertising on TV catches their attention most.
Methodology: The group of US adults who say the coronavirus is a major public threat has a sample size of 7,284.
For any requests for YouGov data referenced in this piece, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org