The impact of the economic crisis – Towards a new consumers and market research model

Peter Cooper and Simon Patterson
CRAM International, United Kingdom


This paper is based upon ongoing qualitative and quantitative research, meta-analyses of published findings, semiotic analyses of media coverage, reviews of the literature, and discussions with psychologists dealing with symptoms. The psychological impacts of the Economic Crisis on mental health and social wellbeing were first discussed at the Annual Conference of the British Psychological Society in April 2009 (Cooper, 2009).

The purpose here is to explore the impacts of the Crisis on market research, and its future.

In brief, many people have been and continue to be profoundly affected. The term 'economic malaise' is used to describe the clinical condition involving fear, anxiety and depression. These symptoms interfere with personal, practical and social functioning. They also have a direct impact on shopping behaviours, future planning, brands, responses to brand communications, and attitudes to money. The crisis causes regression to safe, trusted brands along with a number of other coping strategies. Impacts vary by country and by demographics. Anglo-Saxon markets were the first to feel its effects but it is now global.