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Context is Critical for Brands Responding to COVID-19

2 minute read | June 2020

With many countries re-opening into what appears to be a long-term recessionary environment, companies are naturally looking to make comparisons to past times of economic challenge. But the lessons of the past may not be a perfect fit for today.

In a recent article Scott McKenzie, Nielsen’s Global Intelligence Leader, stated, “…to make side-by-side comparisons between what happened just over a decade ago and today’s circumstances would be overly simplistic. Treat it as a helpful baseline and know that adjustments to consumer demands this time around need to be made with far more speed and fervor than we have ever considered.”

The challenges that people are facing during the current health emergency are, of course, unfamiliar and require new protocols and solutions to address the challenges. In some areas, progress was already underway before the virus hit, which enabled a smoother transition to the stay-at-home lifestyle than some might have expected.

Systems in digitally advanced countries, such as China, were already in place for contactless delivery, augmented reality-enabled shopping, mobile and tap-to-pay payments. And from a communications and entertainment perspective, people used technology to find even more ways to connect, stay informed, commiserate and entertain themselves. 

Sizing the more macro changes that have played out this year is important as businesses recalibrate to changing consumer demand. Here are just some of the ways the U.S. has changed since the last recession.

Great vs COVID Recession US Comparison Infographic

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