Companies Pivoting to Adapt to COVID-19 Needs & Capturing Consumer Love

Carol Feigenbaum |
 04/16/20 |
4 min read


Many brands have stepped up to fill societies’ needs in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. They’ve been listening to the conversation of the local and global community and are consequently being met with consumer love. Here’s how they’ve been able to pivot so quickly to adapt and why your brand must become equally agile.

Brands Giving and Receiving

It’s heartening to see the rapid response of many brands which is bolstering consumer confidence. Those at risk both physically and emotionally are depending on brands that show they are listening, and that they care. Those brands are adapting, and they’re doing it with the help of some serious next-gen AI capabilities.

There’s no doubt that the lack of masks, ventilators and general PPE has left our healthcare system in dire need of communal support – and it’s getting it.

Although many companies and entire industries have been crippled in the midst of this crisis, we see brands ranging from fashion designers to car manufacturers shifting production gears to meet the growing needs of healthcare workers. The social web offers insight to elaborate.

Shortage Summary from Social Web

Agile brands are using consumer and market analytics to take them to the heart of the shortage conversation and are adjusting their course of action accordingly.

For example – following a broad search, the data visualization below shows that ‘masks’ are taking up 8.5% of the global conversation surrounding COVID-19 supply shortages in the last month.


We can also see that food relief (7.2%) and the food supply chain (5.5%) are hot topics at the moment. But that’s a factual account. How are people feeling about these and other shortages?


Armed with the knowledge of what conversations are taking place, smart brands are then shifting to see what people are saying (and not saying) on the social web.

Social Web Understanding

We all know that when people feel strongly about something, they take it online – and that “reporting” isn’t only happening on social media. And it cannot be captured merely by counting shares and likes. Important, relevant conversations are taking place in comment data and on news sites, blogs, review sites and forums as well. It’s crucial for brands to capture every bit of it to create an accurate, informed picture before taking action.

Looking in NetBase at the top emotions concerning shortages, and comparing it over the span of two days, we see a stark shift from negative to positive emotions:



What caused the shift? We can look at our timeline to explore:

Examining the small spike in sentiment on April 13, we can click through to our fluctuation summary. And there, we see conversations that are shifting toward taking a positive outlook on the situation:


Accurate and transparent social media analysis enables brands to zero in on relevant insight and target those feelings, in real-time. This shows how important it is to check in each day, as emotions can shift rapidly.

And as part of that daily exploration, it’s also important to find out where the conversation is the loudest – both virtually and geographically.

Where in the World Consumers are Located

Since masks are a hot topic and feature prominently in the top negative sentiment terms, we should explore that. We can use the Geo Regions tool in NetBase to see that the bulk of the online mentions of masks is heavily focused in North America right now.


Using the Sources tool, we see that the majority of the conversation is happening on Twitter by a wide margin.


We can then use the Stream function to watch the conversation as it’s taking place or analyze points in the conversation where there are spikes or dips.


Industry leading brands were on top of these conversations and sent not only their love via email (as most brands did), but also their resources to address very specific needs. And this help was sent to locations where it was needed most.

Sending all their Love and Resources

Armed with the global conversation and the consumer’s net sentiment, brands like Dyson, GM and Ford have become involved in producing ventilators.

Louis Vuitton and Prada and multitudes of other companies who have the means to do so have been producing gowns and masks. Distilleries and breweries have transformed into hand-sanitizer manufacturers.

Brands on the move are brands getting positive traction online.


The online sentiment for these actions has not gone unnoticed. And even small businesses and individuals are getting in on the action, as well they should. Monitoring consumer emotion has become as essential as having a website, and even more transformative.

Monitoring Trends as New Normal

Brands that are diligently monitoring trends will have the edge by being able to adapt their plan of action on the fly and adjust for market and sentiment fluctuations. They’ll be the first to know as new needs or shortages arise. Or if something of pandemic proportions is headed their way again. And who knows what shifts are coming in the future? Perhaps we are headed for a new sense of normalcy.

Companies are in a sprint to stay in front of the conversation, since life as we know it has ground to a halt. That’s why advanced social media monitoring continues to be an invaluable resource during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Industry leaders rely on NetBase Quid to stay on the forefront of the global conversation, find what consumers are asking for and develop a targeted action plan that enables them to pivot faster than the competition. And when it comes to navigating the unknown, there’s really no better way. Be sure to connect with us at Netbase and Quid and we’ll show you how!

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