The exponential growth of the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) has generated a powerful shock on the world scene, a situation that is influencing behavior and attitudes towards consumption.
In this situation, brands that want to stay connected with their consumers must prepare to understand this reality and apply new strategies to live in the times of the coronavirus.
The spread of the epidemic reached more than 170 countries in just four months since its appearance was reported in Wuhan (China) in late 2019.
Laboratories around the world are in a race against the clock to find the vaccine that stops its progress, while the scientific community remains moderately optimistic about its availability before the end of the year.
In the event of this pandemic, countries have imposed drastic measures, including the closure of universities and companies, cancellation of sporting events, up to periods of mandatory confinement in homes that, according to Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director of the World Health Organization (WHO), would have a “high social and economic cost.”
It is an uncertain time for people around the world, which is leading them to experience a different way of life because of quarantine. The priority for meeting their consumption needs in these circumstances has been given, not only by the supply of food and medicine but also by information and entertainment.
With supermarkets and pharmacies struggling to provide service, restaurants, entertainment venues, and stadiums closed, business or tourist trips canceled due to airport closures, our lives and consumer attitudes are taking a 180-degree turn.
Technology giants such as Google, Facebook, Apple or WhatsApp become some of the brands that receive the most significant impact, not only because of the use they are accustomed to giving them, but because they take on other tasks such as collecting user data to face the epidemic and launch systems of prevention and recommendations on its spread.
Likewise, the cooperation of technological brands with companies from different sectors is coupled to meet other consumption needs.
A factory needs technological tools for its operation, but it also requires transport companies to deliver its products to distributors, just as neighborhood stores demand courier services to provide the product or service to the final consumer, an activity that is done through a smartphone.
MKM Partners, an American investment firm, created a “Stay at Home Index” to highlight brands such as Google and Twitter that asked their employees to work remotely to provide teleconferencing, online education, and entertainment services.
Listed are video game developer Activision Blizzard, fitness equipment maker Peloton, and food delivery service GrubHub.
In the same MKM list are Netflix, distributor of movies, and a series of unlimited use on phones, computers, and TV at no extra cost. Netflix has experienced growth that strengthens it as the most reliable provider of entertainment in the West among the favorites of millions of people confined to their homes, consumers who have reduced their expenses, but at the same time are making more purchases online.
This is the new consumption behavior created by the brands in the time of the coronavirus.