Consumer confidence is low right now and brands are switching gears to maintain relationships. Monitoring consumer investment mindset in light of COVID-19 will be important.
Here’s how . . .
Taking the Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) Temperature
The economy is fueled by consumer spending, and for quite some time now, economists have been able to predict and measure future trends.
These predictions are based on a series of survey answers from a select group of individuals where they are asked questions around their total family income and employment conditions. Results show that when consumers are confident in their future, they spend more money and drive economic growth higher. When they aren’t confident though, they spend less and are more resourceful with their funds, which can constrain economic growth.
At the beginning of this year, things were trending positively when it came to the CCI. The Consumer Confidence Board reported that the index was at 130.7 in February. This was before plummeting to 120 in March, of course. Lynn Franco, Senior Director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board shared what feels obvious – “Consumer confidence declined sharply in March due to a deterioration in the short-term outlook.” Understated, even.
So, how can next generation AI-powered social analytics help you stay in touch with what consumers are saying around this? Social media listening is your window to the consumer’s soul.
Socially Listening for Consumer Confidence
Social media listening tools enables you to analyze insight and sentiment around relevant topics to gauge how consumers are feeling. This gives your brand insight to inform strategy shifts when you need to pivot to reach your target audience.
You’ll see that at the beginning of the year, from January to February, sentiment around the 401k and investment-related chatter was in tune with the CCI data. Things were overwhelmingly positive.
And like the CCI, that quickly changed in March when COVID-19 captured the world’s attention.
So, what does this all mean for brands and how they can continue to capture and engage their audience without driving revenue? Let’s take a look.
Keeping Consumers Along for the Ride
Brands see the shift. And they understand. Many of our favorite brands are struggling right now, just as consumers are. They’re not looking to profit, but to hold steady. And they’re strategizing around how to stay top of mind with consumers to keep them well positioned and maintain brand love.
They’re focusing (and should be focusing) on strong communication with their customers. They are closely monitoring social conversation to understand their needs and offering value, even if it’s just sharing important information. Many companies are pivoting to adapt to COVID-19 needs and capture consumer love. It’s the most valuable commodity they can capture right now. And in our newly ‘bartering with purpose’ world, it’s something they can likely cash in on in the future.
Consumers, for their part, have high expectations on how and when they expect their favorite brands to step up right now.
Companies Capturing Consumer Love
A great example of this is how Popeyes won consumer love, even in the midst of a pandemic. Through the use of consumer trends and a solid social media strategy, they were able to insert themselves into conversation, generate revenue and stay top of mind with their consumers.
That’s not all though. Other big brands, like Nike, are taking to social media to encourage social distancing to stop the spread of COVID-19. Their messaging is meaningful.
And then we see Chipotle wanting to lighten the very real challenges that comes with social distancing by hosting Zoom calls for a set number of lucky fans to hangout and chat with various celebrities. Disney even got involved and brought a little magic to living rooms across the globe with a sing-a-long featuring various hit artists and some of the most popular movie songs. And people LOVED it!
And beyond all of this, brands can do something so small that means so much and gives so much value. Like Statista, for example. They are offering a hub with valuable stats that they could easily charge for, but they’re not. This gives consumers and businesses alike hard data that is invaluable to our worried world.
And it can all end well for brands, if they’re ready to open strong when the market changes.
Brands Seeking a Strong Opening
As long as brands continue to position themselves as they have been in the market and are executing beyond cause marketing by staying relevant with their audience, experts are positive they will bounce back. That consumer understanding it essential though. Consumers will start investing again, and where they direct their investment dollars is anyone’s guess. But, the stock market is already starting to rise and that bodes well. Slowly, but surely it is moving back into a bull market within a span of two weeks, but we’re far from out of the woods yet with wild fluctuations still the name of the game:
Brands can ensure they’re part of the inevitable economic recovery by staying on top of consumer confidence, both the CCI and corresponding sentiment shared on the social web in real-time.
Reach out for a demo today and we’ll help you get started on that path!