Consumers in APAC believe brands have a more important role than governments today in creating a better future, according to a new report by Havas Group.

The report found that 60% of respondents across APAC expect brands to use their strengths to solve problems created by COVID-19 and show a commitment to improving the quality of life for consumers. While the commitment to improving quality of life is prioritised in Philippines and Indonesia, consumers across developed Asia markets like Singapore and Korea wants to see how brands can play a bigger role in helping the country through the crisis.

This is a key area where most categories perform below expectations and consequently would be a huge opportunity for brands to activate their brand purpose in a meaningful way.

“Consumers are demanding that brands have skin in the game. Our findings reveal that consumers will reward brands who want to make the world a better place and expect brands to use their strengths to solve problems created by the pandemic. Showing empathy in action and brand activism will become a crucial part of a product/service strategy in a world impacted existentially by the pandemic,” said Charu Harish, chief strategy officer, Havas Group India & South East Asia.

To read the Meaningful Brands 2020 report in full, click here

Other trends from the report include:

  • Rise of collective consciousness – There is a rise of ‘collective consciousness’ across Asia. For the first time in a decade, consumers are shifting priorities from functional and personal benefits towards aspects that help and support the society at large. 35% of respondents prioritise collective benefits over functional and personal.
  • Spotlight on Mental & Emotional Well-Being – 57% of Asians are looking at brands to equip them in maintaining their mental and emotional well-being. This is especially the case in markets like Indonesia where consumers prioritise mental & emotional well-being over any other 'Personal Benefit' with 59% rating it the highest priority. This is a cry for help across developing economies like India, Indonesia and Philippines where brands are falling short on the deliveries and there is a gap on what consumers are demanding in terms of a brand’s role in helping them maintain their physical and mental well-being and how they score brand performance on this aspect.
  • Safety & Protective Tech Baseline for all Categories - 63% of consumers expect brands to improve health and safety standards across all categories be it Automotive, FMCG or Retail. Brands across all categories need to look at innovations on health that consumers can see, touch and feel to deliver a future-ready narrative on health and safety.
  • From DIY to DEY (Do everything yourself) economy - 57% of respondents are looking at brands to help them learn and adopt a new skill. The pandemic has made people realise the importance of self-sufficiency and evolving their skill sets. Consumers are looking at avenues to upskill themselves and also build self-sufficiency into their business models upstream and downstream – a huge opportunity for brands to drive deeper engagement and build communities. 

The study surveyed 2900 respondents from five markets in Asia (Singapore, Korea, Indonesia, Philippines and India).

Sourced from Havas Group