In past newsletters, we’ve spent time theorizing about the mind of the COVID-19-era consumer, and cataloguing strategies marketers can use to relate to them without feeling craven or thirsty. People are in need of comfort, assurance, and often, direct advice about how to deal with the issues they are encountering in our worldwide dystopia. But who is actually winning in this fight for troubled hearts and minds?
A new study from Morning Consult— with results pulled from 150,000 subjects across the United States — ranks the most beloved brands by consumers in the coronavirus era. Unsurprisingly, there’s been a surge in popularity for new-school corporations who help people facilitate their practical needs for product delivery and virtual communication. Zoom and Instacart are among the top biggest gainers this summer, and Amazon (proud LHC client!) came in at #4. Tiktok is in there too, and SpaceX—presumably a hit among those who, reasonably enough, are desperate to get off of this planet as soon as they can.
But perhaps the most revelatory (and kinda charming) fact is that, overall, old-school CPG companies are dominating the game -- making up almost half of the top 50. You might not be surprised that an essential cleaning product came in at #6 (Clorox) but M&Ms at #8 —o ut of 1,900 possible brands — might seem to be out of left field. Is it that surprising though? When it comes to things to stress-snack on, it’s logical to reach for the world’s most classic, time-tested, and readily available brands. Respect to Cheerios also, all the way up at #11, and Doritos (#29) for beating out Lays as the top chip brand.
If you want more evidence that the most accessible and recognizable CPGs winning hearts and minds, the 2020 Axios Harris Poll—which ranks the top 100 brands for corporate reputation —bears out similar results. Here, Clorox is all the way at #1 and Hershey up at #2, illustrating that this country needs chocolate more than most foods. (Doritos, sadly, are nowhere to be found -- possibly invalidating this entire study.)
Specifics aside, whichever way you slice it, the statistics serve as a revealing psychological survey of our nation of consumers—evidence of our inherent vulnerability and need for control variables. Even if your company doesn’t have a centuries-old legacy or have a monopoly on a specific market, this should be an important lesson on the value of branding: being a friendly face goes a long way in a crisis.
Things are happening
If you’ve embraced TikTok or tried Reels on Instagram, it won’t surprise you to know that experts say that social media marketing, particularly video content, is more in demand than ever. For lasting impact, keep in mind: “social listening” and community engagement should be at the forefront.
On the flip side, AdAge says that following trends doesn’t serve a brand if it’s not authentic. Digital marketers should always be ready to pivot, but also need to keep their overall brand values in mind.
Here’s how the worlds biggest media companies fared in Q2. (Spoiler: not great!)
Some companies are offering their employees stipends for pet adoption. We were thinking LHC branded tats …
A dog in Wales rescued a missing mother and child. Charlie needs to step his game up, evidently.
What We're Listening To
If you’ve had even the briefest encounter with alternative music as a genre since 1999, you have Blink-182 to thank. Anyone who isn’t influenced by them isn’t anyone you want to be listening to, to be frank. Proving that they’re still at the top of the game, Blink just released the Official Quarantine Anthem – aptly named “Quarantine.” With some of our team members bleeding angst over our daily zoom calls (there was recent talk about watering plants with tears … you good, Guy?), this track couldn’t be more appropriately timed. Give it a listen, relate maybe a little too earnestly to some of the intense sarcasm, then go back into the archives and listen to their OGs. Oh to hear “What’s My Age Again” playing over the opening credits of an early 2000s movie – simpler times.