With the outbreak of COVID-19, the world has found itself in a ‘Twilight Zone’, characterised by uncertainty and insecurity.
And with so much remaining undefined, two Australian businesses are working together to start providing answers in a news cycle dominated by questions.
“Fundamentally, where we are now is the Twilight Zone,” said Pollinate CEO and founder Howard Parry-Husbands.
“Everything has changed and no one knows where it’s going.”
The initial research shows 76 per cent of Australians believe this will have a significant impact on how we go about our lives in the future, while 91 per cent of people recognise it’s going to have a big impact on the Australian economy.
The research will be shared as part of a weekly webinar series hosted by Parry-Husbands and Social Soup CEO and founder Sharyn Smith.
With so much happening so quickly, Smith explained the importance of sharing the findings on a weekly basis.
“The longitudinal approach will help us predict where it’s going,” she said.
“And I think that’s the big question that everybody’s asking – where is this going to go and how are we going to emerge from this.
“By seeing things evolve over time we’ll have an idea of that direction.”
A testing time for brands
By sharing valuable insights into how households are responding to the current state of uncertainty, Social Soup and Pollinate hope brands can sharpen their responses to the pandemic.
The research shows only 58 per cent of people believe brands are responding well to the current events.
However, there is a common thread for the brands that are deemed to be performing well.
“One of the fundamental strategic directions that brands have been taking in the past year or so is really looking at brand purpose, which should help them decide how to act and help,” said Smith.
“We can see that the brands that are doing that are the ones that are being recognised – I think even more so in the future we’ll see a gravitation towards purpose.”
According to the research, inspiration and entertainment are two of the least important qualities Australians are looking for in brands.
“Brands can not only get away with just making nice ads. Just being entertaining is very low down the list,” said Parry-Husbands.
“What people want at the moment is empathy and understanding and they want actionable and useful information.
“It’s crucial that brands come back to purpose, but at the moment they also have to be doing not saying.”
To learn more about how Australian households are responding to the COVID-19 outbreak, register for the opening BC: AC Life Before and After COVID-19 webinar taking place tomorrow (Tuesday 7 April) at 9am and again at 2pm.