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Consuming in a crisis: pandemic consumption across consumer segments and implications for brands

Consuming in a crisis: pandemic consumption across consumer segments and implications for brands This paper aims to understand how the Covid-19 pandemic has changed consumers’ perceptions of outdoor consumption categories, such as retail shopping, eating out, public events and travel and how these perceptions may impact businesses in these domains in the long term. Further, this research aims to understand demographic effects on outdoor consumption inhibition during the current pandemic and discuss how businesses can use these insights to rebrand their offerings and evolve after the pandemic.Design/methodology/approachData collected by CivicScience, a survey-based consumer intelligence research platform, during April–July 2020 forms the basis of the preliminary analysis, where the chi-square test has been used to examine significant differences in consumer attitudes between different age groups, income groups and genders. Further, a social media analysis of conversations around outdoor consumption activities is undertaken to understand the rationale behind these demographics-based attitude differences.FindingsResults lend varying degrees of support to the hypothesized consumer attitudes toward outdoor consumption activities during the Covid-19 pandemic. As the pandemic wore on, older (vs younger), female (vs male) consumers and lower (vs higher) income-group consumers had reportedly higher inhibition toward different outdoor activities. Older individuals were significantly less likely to shop, dine and attend public events than younger individuals. Lower-income consumers were significantly less likely to dine and travel than higher-income consumer consumers. Female consumers were significantly less likely to shop and travel than male consumers. Social media scan of conversations suggests that differences in perceived health and financial risks may have resulted in demographics-based differences in outdoor consumption activities.Research limitations/implicationsThis study contributes to the literature by understanding demographic differences in consumer participation in outdoor activities. One limitation is that due to the time-sensitive nature of the pandemic research, further studies could not be conducted to understand the implications of other variables, beyond demographics that influence consumer behavior during a crisis. A future research direction is to understand how other psychological variables or traits, influence health and financial risk-taking behavior during a similar crisis.Originality/valueThe principal contribution of the present research is that it tests the risk-taking theory in the context of outdoor consumption during the Covid-19 pandemic. The present research has implications for businesses as they continue to evolve during and post Covid-19. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Product & Brand Management Emerald Publishing

Consuming in a crisis: pandemic consumption across consumer segments and implications for brands

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References (75)

Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
© Emerald Publishing Limited
ISSN
1061-0421
eISSN
1061-0421
DOI
10.1108/jpbm-12-2020-3263
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This paper aims to understand how the Covid-19 pandemic has changed consumers’ perceptions of outdoor consumption categories, such as retail shopping, eating out, public events and travel and how these perceptions may impact businesses in these domains in the long term. Further, this research aims to understand demographic effects on outdoor consumption inhibition during the current pandemic and discuss how businesses can use these insights to rebrand their offerings and evolve after the pandemic.Design/methodology/approachData collected by CivicScience, a survey-based consumer intelligence research platform, during April–July 2020 forms the basis of the preliminary analysis, where the chi-square test has been used to examine significant differences in consumer attitudes between different age groups, income groups and genders. Further, a social media analysis of conversations around outdoor consumption activities is undertaken to understand the rationale behind these demographics-based attitude differences.FindingsResults lend varying degrees of support to the hypothesized consumer attitudes toward outdoor consumption activities during the Covid-19 pandemic. As the pandemic wore on, older (vs younger), female (vs male) consumers and lower (vs higher) income-group consumers had reportedly higher inhibition toward different outdoor activities. Older individuals were significantly less likely to shop, dine and attend public events than younger individuals. Lower-income consumers were significantly less likely to dine and travel than higher-income consumer consumers. Female consumers were significantly less likely to shop and travel than male consumers. Social media scan of conversations suggests that differences in perceived health and financial risks may have resulted in demographics-based differences in outdoor consumption activities.Research limitations/implicationsThis study contributes to the literature by understanding demographic differences in consumer participation in outdoor activities. One limitation is that due to the time-sensitive nature of the pandemic research, further studies could not be conducted to understand the implications of other variables, beyond demographics that influence consumer behavior during a crisis. A future research direction is to understand how other psychological variables or traits, influence health and financial risk-taking behavior during a similar crisis.Originality/valueThe principal contribution of the present research is that it tests the risk-taking theory in the context of outdoor consumption during the Covid-19 pandemic. The present research has implications for businesses as they continue to evolve during and post Covid-19.

Journal

Journal of Product & Brand ManagementEmerald Publishing

Published: Jan 19, 2023

Keywords: Consumer behavior; Covid-19; Economic crisis; Health crisis; Pandemic; Branding; Future of consumption; Rebranding after Covid-19; Customer engagement; Marketing strategy; Corporate branding; Rebranding; Older consumers; Covid-19 pandemic; Lower-income consumers

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