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The Push-Pull Dynamic of Coronavirus / COVID-19

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 dynamic underlying the COVID-19 experience. The below results are based on surveying 6,000 people in Canada and USA in late April / early May.

THE PUSH – Exploration

This is a time in which consumer habits and attitudes are shifting and forming.

  • 8-in-10 see COVID-19 and the associated shutdown as an opportunity to rethink their priorities.
  • More than 1/2 are open to trying new foods and beverages as they shift to preparing more meals at home.
  • Around 1/3 see COVID-19 as an opportunity to take some calculated risks with their investments.

THE PULL – Control

In an unstable situation, people will seek to control their environment.

  • More than 2/3 are trying to limit their overall spending and nearly 1/2 are trying to spend less on food.
  • Roughly 1/2 are taking steps to make their homes more secure.
  • More than 1/2 are buying small treats to make themselves and their families feel better at this time. Some might see small treats as falling into the exploration bucket. We believe that it is a control mechanism – a statement that I am sufficiently in control of the situation that I can fulfil more than just my basic survival needs.

There are interesting opportunities for brands to boost their relevance by first determining if they have a role to play in this exploration / control dynamic. The results of this thought process might be surprising – could an indulgent ice cream help me to feel in control of my situation? Could a new item on a QSR menu be an easy opportunity for exploration during a time when every day feels the same? There is also a need for brands to monitor consumer values to see how values change as consumers rethink their priorities. We don’t yet know what the new consumer normal will be, but we can remain relevant as the current normal evolves.

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