Consumers: brands need to do more for cost of living

Consumers: brands need to do more for cost of living

Consumers increasingly expect brands to show “tangible and meaningful” solutions to the cost-of-living crisis in their marketing, new research has showed.

Havas Media Group’s Cost of Living study found consumer expectations for brands across functional, personal and collective benefits, namely the product or service a brand delivers and how they improve people’s lives and society, have risen 63% across the board.

Those surveyed placed more responsibility on brands to deliver on promises (74%) and the offer of quality products/services (74%) than before the price of household bills started increasing.

Fair pricing and helping people save money both increased in importance to those surveyed by 75% and 77% respectively than before food, energy and fuel costs went up.

The study also found most age groups believed the crisis would last one to two years and 59% of consumers are planning to cut back on future spending to afford essentials, particularly the 18- 44 age group.

Tony Mattson, head of strategy, Havas Media Group, said: “Marketing exists to attract customers and create value for them. The cost-of-living crisis presents a fundamental challenge to marketers as the number of people in market and their intended spend are depressed and will continue to be so for some time.”

He added the squeeze on the cost of living will be felt “unevenly” and the smartest marketers will be attuned to this.

“Brands will need to create meaningful experiences around their products and services tailored and made relevant to the needs and mindsets of different audiences. Flexibility, adaptability and an understanding of context will be critical to retaining and winning people’s trust,” he commented.

The findings are based on an online survey of 700 people conducted by Havas Media Group’s insight team between 24 February and 1 March.

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