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Canadias are Suffering Less but Complaining More

The Coronavirus / COVID-19 experience has been…challenging for all of us. Recent research from Dig Insights that can help you to understand the dynamic in both Canada and USA can be found here: https://www.diginsights.com/covid-19/

Our syndicated tracker reveals an interesting difference between the two countries: Canadians are suffering slightly less but feeling more negative.

Examples of the somewhat easier experience in Canada:

  • 76% of Canadians are able to pay their bills vs. 70% of Americans.
  • 69% of Canadians are confident that food will remain available in stores vs. 60% of Americans.
  • 45% of Canadians are worried about increased violent crime vs. 52% of Americans.

Despite this, we see that Canadians are consistently more dour in their outlook:

  • 26% of Canadians think the economy will be strong in 6 months vs. 39% of Americans.
  • 15% of Canadians think that COVID-19 will be resolved quickly vs. 26% of Americans.
  • 29% of Canadians feel closer to their friends now vs. 38% of Americans.

Canadians are also more trusting of institutions:

  • 60% of Canadians trust our government officials to lead us through this vs. 44% of Americans.
  • 49% of Canadians are frustrated by the limitations placed on our lives right now vs. 65% of Americans.

So where does this leave us? We certainly expect less pushback from the Canadian population to government-mandated COVID-19 containment measures. But we might also see a more muted economic rebound in Canada post-COVID-19. Consumer spending and consumer optimism are key drivers of the economy.

For brands that operate in both countries, it’s important to recognize that the experiences and the reactions are different. And to recognize that these differences translate into consumer attitudes: during COVID-19, 54% of Canadians say that they are open to trying new foods and beverages vs. 60% of Americans. With most product and messaging innovation in Canada coming out of America, Canadian brand teams will need to ensure relevancy (especially in terms of tonality) for the Canadian market.

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