Millennials want brands to communicate more during COVID-19 crisis, study finds

Trust in government is low, but the jury is still out on how millennials view brands right now.

The COVID-19 outbreak has given brands the unique opportunity to be more impactful than governments in some instances, according to a study from Berlin Cameron.

The study, conducted in partnership with research firm Perksy, reports that 43 percent of millennials believe that brands need to step up and help, with one in four of them saying brands have the power to be as impactful as the government.

Combined with a lack of trust in governments around the world unearthed by a study from McCann, it is clear that brand messaging is more important than ever. 

According to Berlin Cameron’s data, which was the result of a nationwide online survey of more than 1,250 people ages 21 to 35, nearly half of millennials think brands should continue their efforts during this time, and 36 percent believe brands should communicate more than usual. 

Additionally, context is king, with half of those surveyed believing that brands should have a message about the current pandemic, instead of alluding to it euphemistically or not at all. 

But consumers also want to hear about brand initiatives that will help during the current period, so it is important to be mindful of tone and messaging as always. 

Despite what brands decide to do or not do, millennials are likely to maintain their pessimistic view of the situation for the time being, as 75 percent have a negative outlook of the scenario and believe that things will get worse before getting better. 

Spirit brands have a unique role during the pandemic, with liquor stores having been knighted as essential business in many jurisdictions alongside hospitals and grocery shops.

Millennials clearly want their booze even if the bars are closed. In fact, 49 percent want restaurants or partners like Drizly to deliver them, while a third want to be able to pick up spirits/alcoholic drinks curbside.

But that’s not all they expect of their spirits brands.

Berlin Cameron’s survey found that 50 percent of millennials say it makes sense for a spirits brand to champion small businesses, such as bars and restaurants, during the current crisis. And more than 25 percent would like these brands to bring the bar experience to them in some virtual format.

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