New research reveals the top drivers of brand trust in Australia following COVID-19
Key takeaways from the research, which surveyed 510 Australians between 24 - 29 April, are as follows:
More than half of respondents (62%) agree the actions brands take in a time of crisis will have a major impact on brand trust
The key drivers towards developing brand trust are taking care of employees (43%), not taking advantage of a crisis (43%), and taking care of customers (40%)
Almost half (44%) of respondents say their trust in federal government has increased, and 43% say the same for state governments
The top three messages respondents wanted to hear were how the business is responding to the crisis (66%), the impact on distribution (48%), and information on products and services (45%)
Email is the most preferred communication channel (59%), followed by TV advertising (48%), and Facebook (36%)
The findings from the study provide a framework to help brands build and keep trust and confidence at this uncertain time through effective and meaningful actions.
Supporting employees key to increasing brand trust as businesses map recoveries
Australians want to hear how companies are responding, and how disruptions directly impact them
Sydney, May 7 2020 -- As Australian businesses begin to map their recovery from the current downturn, new research released today from Qualtrics outlines the biggest drivers of brand trust in this new normal, and how consumers want to be engaged with. Findings from the study provide a framework helping brands build and keep trust and confidence at this uncertain time through effective and meaningful actions.
With lockdown measures continuing to impact how brands position themselves in the market, the study revealed more than 80% of people believe it’s important for brands to take care of their employees and customers, and to not take advantage of the crisis to maximise profits.
A similar sentiment showed when respondents were asked what behaviours increase trust during the crisis. Taking care of employees was the top ranked attribute (43%), followed by not taking advantage of a crisis (43%), and taking care of customers (40%). What respondents found less impactful were messages of hope and optimism (13%) or even statements about strong moral principles (16%).
During the COVID-19 outbreak, a third of respondents said their trust in the brands they regularly engage with had increased. Trust in government has experienced a greater increase, with 44% of respondents saying their trust in federal government has increased, and 43% said the same for state governments.
“Trust has a fundamental role to play as businesses begin to reopen their doors and rebuild operations. In these uncertain times, high levels of trust mean consumers can feel confident in choosing to engage with your brand,” said Lisa Khatri, Brand Experience and Research Lead for Qualtrics in APJ.
“While the operational impact of the restrictions is temporary, their influence on consumer behaviours and attitudes will be long lasting. Over the last month we have seen huge changes in the ways consumers engage with brands, and these will continue to evolve each time restrictions change. For businesses to remain relevant, they need to keep a pulse on consumer behaviour, drivers of brand preference, and how their actions at each stage can positively influence how the brand is viewed.
“The Qualtrics study revealed that brand actions in a time of crisis will have a major impact on brand trust for almost two-thirds (62%) of respondents. Just 8% said brand actions had no impact. Brands that can show how they are proactively helping the community, such as working within social distancing guidelines and workplace flexibility, will be in a stronger position to not only navigate the recovery phase, but accelerate it too,” added Khatri.
To help businesses understand the drivers of brand trust and focus actions on the most relevant actions to consumers, Qualtrics launched the free solution The COVID-19 Brand Trust Pulse. It is part of a range of free offerings launched by the experience management company over the last month, which have supported more than 31,000 projects across more than 8,500 organisations.
The most recent addition to the free offerings is a Back to Business solution designed to help organisations stay connected with customers, understand their expectations and preferences, and take actions to build customer confidence as businesses reopen their doors.
Identifying the right message and medium
When it comes to brand communications, Australians 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 (66%), the impact on distribution (48%), and information on products and services (45%).
Findings in the Qualtrics study also revealed how Australians want brands to communicate with them, highlighting a strong preference for tried and tested channels. Email came out on top as the most preferred communication channel (59%), followed by TV advertising (48%), and Facebook (36%). Bottom of the list was Twitter, Whatsapp (both 8%), and TikTok (5%).
“Social distancing restrictions have limited the ways businesses can interact with their consumers, which means regular and effective communications through traditional channels is critical to keeping people engaged. For communications to be effective however, brands need to find a balance in how often they are communicating and the topics being discussed. This approach actively demonstrates the value brands bring to keep their customers’ attention in rapidly changing markets.
For more information on Qualtrics please visit: https://www.qualtrics.com/.