Experience management company Qualtrics conducted the Brand Trust study to find that during the Covid-19 outbreak, 50% of the respondents said their trust in the brands they regularly engaged with had increased. The study also reveals peoples’ trust in the government has increased by 72% during the pandemic.
In a similar sentiment, when respondents were asked what behaviours increase trust during the crisis, taking care of employees was the top ranked attribute (37%), followed by not taking advantage of maximising profits during a crisis (36%), and taking care of customers (32%). What respondents found less impactful were providing new products (10%), having an established track record of responding well in times of crisis (17%) and statements about strong moral principles such as integrity (19%).
“Building loyalty in a time of crisis can make or break a brand. Our Qualtrics study in India reveals consumers trust brands more, when brands focused on the well-being of customers, the well-being of employees, and not taking advantage of the crisis to maximise profits,” said Lisa Khatri, brand experience and research lead for Qualtrics in APJ.
“Since social distancing restrictions were put in place, we have seen huge changes in the ways consumers engage with brands – and these will continue to evolve each time restrictions change. Conducting regular quick research into changing behaviours and trends is crucial for brands in this new normal. It provides a pulse on consumer behaviour, drivers of brand preference, and how brand actions at each stage can positively influence how the brand is viewed, enabling businesses to strengthen and accelerate their recovery,” added Khatri.
When it comes to brand communications, Indians are more interested in the operational impact of Covid-19 compared to sales and promotional marketing. The top three messages respondents wanted to hear were how the business is responding to the crisis (75%), the impact on distribution (48%), and information on products and services (48%).
Findings in the study also revealed how Indians want brands to communicate with them, highlighting a strong preference for tried and tested channels. WhatsApp came out on top as the most preferred communication channel (63%), followed by Facebook (58%), and online media (55%). Bottom of the list was TikTok (18%), print media (23%), and radio (24%).