More Singaporeans are concerned about the economy than health threats during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a newly launched Anxiety Index by Wunderman Thompson Singapore.

“The study showed the criticality of money, with economic anxieties dominating over health, safety and social tensions,” said Malati Afridi, Head of Experience at Wunderman Thompson Singapore. “What also emerged was a recalibration of life. People are wanting to stay close to family and rethinking what they want from jobs and how they live their lives.”

Compared to the US survey in March 2020, Singaporeans are more anxious about all issues (economics, safety, technology, health, environment, and social issues) except for governance. Economic anxieties dominate all fears, followed by environment, technology and health respectively.

Key findings from the survey include:

  • 74% of Singaporeans say they are anxious, which is almost as high as Americans at 76%
  • 35-to-39-year olds are the most anxious at 80.3% as compared to 61.5% of 55-to-59-year olds.
  • 75% feel that the media plays a large role in making them feel anxious
  • 65% will continue to take extra care of their health, even after coronavirus ends
  • 52% will continue stocking up on essentials in case of an emergency
  • More than half of Singaporeans are worried about the proportion of foreigners in the professional workforce as well as the number of immigrants in the country. Those older than 35, male citizens and people with kids under 18 are most anxious about migrant workers and foreigners.

Based on the survey results, Wunderman Thompson Singapore has identified the following learnings for brands:

  • Provide reassurance – Consumers want reassurance that brands, and companies are taking the right measures to keep them safe.
  • Provide utility – Find ways to be useful to consumers and make their lives easier or better.
  • Optimise your experience – As more people resort to online, ensure your experience and service is designed and optimised for online.
  • Contribute to the community - Consider what you can do for your customers or the communities you serve beyond sales.

The survey also identified the top categories and brands that consumers feel should have the license to communicate about and around COVID-19 to be: Health Promotion Board, public transport and ride-hailing brands, restaurants, and grocery stores. Consumers also feel reassured when their employers communicate clearly about COVID-19 measures and impacts.

Wunderman Thompson Singapore launched the Anxiety Index in July 2020 to measure key stressors – health, economic, government/politics, social issues and others – and help inform policy, strategy and communications. The findings were based on a survey of 500 Singaporeans conducted June 29 to July 6 as well as in-depth interviews done Aug 6-8.

Sourced from Wunderman Thompson Singapore