With Indian businesses continuing to work remotely adapting to the new normal, research from Qualtrics shows how this crisis has altered the drivers of Brand Trust for people in India. The study revealed that 69% of respondents believe it’s important for brands to take care of their employees and customers, and to not take advantage of the crisis to maximize profits.
Qualtrics, the leader in customer experience and creator of the experience management category which conducted the Brand Trust study found that during the COVID-19 outbreak 50% of the respondents said their trust in the brands they regularly engaged with had increased. The study also reveals peoples’ trust in government has increased by 72% during COVID-19.
In a similar sentiment, when respondents were asked what behaviours increase trust during the crisis, taking care of employees was the top-ranked attribute (37%), followed by not taking advantage of maximising profits during a crisis (36%), and taking care of customers (32%). What respondents found less impactful were providing new products (10%), having an established track record of responding well in times of crisis (17%) and statements about strong moral principles such as integrity (19%).
“Building loyalty in a time of crisis can make or break a brand. Our Qualtrics study in India reveals consumers trust brands more, when brands focused on the well-being of customers, the well-being of employees, and not taking advantage of the crisis to maximize profits,”
said Lisa Khatri, Brand Experience and Research Lead for Qualtrics in APJ.
“Since social distancing restrictions were put in place, we have seen huge changes in the ways consumers engage with brands – and these will continue to evolve each time restrictions change. Conducting regular quick research into changing behaviours and trends is crucial for brands in this new normal. It provides a pulse on consumer behaviour, drivers of brand preference, and how brand actions at each stage can positively influence how the brand is viewed, enabling businesses to strengthen and accelerate their recovery,”
To help businesses understand the drivers of brand trust better, Qualtrics launched the free solution “The COVID-19 Brand Trust Pulse” as a part of a range of free offerings launched 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 companies stay connected with customers, understand their expectations and preferences, and take actions to build customer confidence when businesses reopen their doors.
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Other Key Outcomes – Identifying the right messages and medium
When it comes to brand communications, Indians 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 (75%), the impact on the distribution (48%), and information on products and services (48%).
Findings in the Qualtrics study also revealed how Indians want brands to communicate with them, highlighting a strong preference for tried and tested channels. WhatsApp came out on top as the most preferred communication channel (63%), followed by Facebook (58%), and online media (55%). Bottom of the list was TikTok (18%), Print media (23%), and Radio (24%).
Social distancing restrictions have limited the ways businesses can interact with their consumers, for communications to be effective 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.
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