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Inspiring Fearless Decision-Making

Inspiring Fearless Decision-Making

Patricia Murphy

Patricia Murphy

December 1, 2020

Havas Group’s Meaningful Brands® The Fast & Fearless edition analyses how consumer relationships with brands have been reshaped by the pandemic.

"For the first time in a decade, Asian consumers are prioritising  brands that help and support society at large"

Charu Aggarwal Harish, Chief Strategy Officer (India and South East Asia) at Havas Singapore, explores the latest APAC focused edition of our Group’s proprietary study, which focuses on consumers’ expectations of brands in five key Asian markets – Singapore, Korea, Indonesia, the Philippines, and India 

The regional study explored consumers in nine categories (including health and wellness, banking, financial services and fin-tech) and found that people invest and support brands who are not only talking about making a difference but putting their money where their mouth is. 

Here, Charu explores the report’s key findings and explains how our Meaningful Brands research guides our Group and our clients to be more fearless. 

  

Can you tell us a little about this Meaningful Brands report and what were some of the most interesting findings? 

This APAC specific report dived into what is expected of brands in a post lockdown world with a focus on five particular markets across Asia: Singapore, Korea, Indonesia, the Philippines, and India. Havas Group’s Meaningful Brands reports are completely unique in that they look at the world through a particular lens, which links brand performance to consumers’ quality of life and wellbeing. With the Fast & The Fearless report, there were many things that surprised me, but they were heartening at the same time. 

Firstly, there has been a rise in ‘collective consciousness’ across Asia and for the first time in a decade, consumers in these markets are prioritising brands that help and support society at large, rather than those which provide personal and functional benefits to consumers. The report found that 35% of consumers now make decisions based on the level of impact on wider society. 

The report also found that consumers in these markets really do think that actions speak louder than words. They want brands to do more than just talk the talk. A massive 62% of consumers are evaluating brands on how they treat and protect their employees and how they are using their buying power to make a difference. This is much higher in developing economies like the Philippines where it is as high as 75%. 

Another finding I found so interesting was that Asians are far more focused on their emotional wellbeing than ever before. 57% of consumers in these markets are looking to brands to equip them with tools to maintain their mental and emotional wellbeing, especially in markets like Indonesia where consumers prioritise this over any other personal benefit. We found that the rising importance of positive mental health is coupled with a cry for help across developing economies like India, Indonesia, and the Philippines, where brands are falling short on this delivery. 

How do you think the pandemic impacted this report’s findings? Do you think consumers in these markets have changed this year? 

The pandemic has most definitely reshaped consumers’ priorities. They believe brands have a more significant role than governments today in creating a better future. 60% of consumers across APAC expect brands to use their power to solve the problems created by Covid-19 and show commitment to improving everyone’s lives. This is a key area where most categories perform below expectation and it can be a huge opportunity for brands to activate their brand purpose in a meaningful way. While consumers in the Philippines and Indonesia want brands to exhibit their commitment to improving the quality of life of the nation, consumers across developed Asian markets like Singapore and Korea want to see how brands can play a bigger role in helping the country through the crisis.  

In the post lockdown world, these consumers want to reward brands who have skin in the game and that want to make the world a better place. Showing empathy in action and brand activism will become a crucial part of a product/service strategy in a world impacted existentially by the pandemic 

"Our Meaningful Brands studies are a key differentiator in helping Havas Group uphold and fulfill our mission to make a meaningful difference"

How important are Meaningful Brands reports to the Havas network and in what ways has the data been utilised in the past? 

Our Meaningful Brands studies are the bedrock of our group and a key differentiator in helping Havas Group uphold and fulfill our mission to make a meaningful difference. The reports have been critical in highlighting key opportunities across brands and countries for most of our clients and provide a clear correlation on how being meaningful helps drive business KPIs. 

How do you think this report will encourage us to spring to quicker action and be more fearless in our decision-making? 

Crises instigate a need for a reexamination of our values. It changes how consumers view brands, how they interact with them and their expectations of products and services.  

With this report, we wanted to know what people in these five key Asian markets found meaningful as we came out of lockdown. Had Covid-19 temporarily or permanently changed their outlook? Did it cause them to rethink how they want to live their lives? Should brands continue communicating with Covid tonality or is it business as usual? Where is the balance? 

Meaningful Brands® The Fast & Fearless edition found answers to these questions and really shined a spotlight on the expectation gap across all the categories and countries. It will help our Group and our clients in APAC by inspiring fearless decision-making and it will guide us to continue making meaningful difference to consumers, brands and businesses. 

"For the first time in a decade, Asian consumers are prioritising  brands that help and support society at large"

Charu Aggarwal Harish, Chief Strategy Officer (India and South East Asia) at Havas Singapore, explores the latest APAC focused edition of our Group’s proprietary study, which focuses on consumers’ expectations of brands in five key Asian markets – Singapore, Korea, Indonesia, the Philippines, and India 

The regional study explored consumers in nine categories (including health and wellness, banking, financial services and fin-tech) and found that people invest and support brands who are not only talking about making a difference but putting their money where their mouth is. 

Here, Charu explores the report’s key findings and explains how our Meaningful Brands research guides our Group and our clients to be more fearless. 

  

Can you tell us a little about this Meaningful Brands report and what were some of the most interesting findings? 

This APAC specific report dived into what is expected of brands in a post lockdown world with a focus on five particular markets across Asia: Singapore, Korea, Indonesia, the Philippines, and India. Havas Group’s Meaningful Brands reports are completely unique in that they look at the world through a particular lens, which links brand performance to consumers’ quality of life and wellbeing. With the Fast & The Fearless report, there were many things that surprised me, but they were heartening at the same time. 

Firstly, there has been a rise in ‘collective consciousness’ across Asia and for the first time in a decade, consumers in these markets are prioritising brands that help and support society at large, rather than those which provide personal and functional benefits to consumers. The report found that 35% of consumers now make decisions based on the level of impact on wider society. 

The report also found that consumers in these markets really do think that actions speak louder than words. They want brands to do more than just talk the talk. A massive 62% of consumers are evaluating brands on how they treat and protect their employees and how they are using their buying power to make a difference. This is much higher in developing economies like the Philippines where it is as high as 75%. 

Another finding I found so interesting was that Asians are far more focused on their emotional wellbeing than ever before. 57% of consumers in these markets are looking to brands to equip them with tools to maintain their mental and emotional wellbeing, especially in markets like Indonesia where consumers prioritise this over any other personal benefit. We found that the rising importance of positive mental health is coupled with a cry for help across developing economies like India, Indonesia, and the Philippines, where brands are falling short on this delivery. 

How do you think the pandemic impacted this report’s findings? Do you think consumers in these markets have changed this year? 

The pandemic has most definitely reshaped consumers’ priorities. They believe brands have a more significant role than governments today in creating a better future. 60% of consumers across APAC expect brands to use their power to solve the problems created by Covid-19 and show commitment to improving everyone’s lives. This is a key area where most categories perform below expectation and it can be a huge opportunity for brands to activate their brand purpose in a meaningful way. While consumers in the Philippines and Indonesia want brands to exhibit their commitment to improving the quality of life of the nation, consumers across developed Asian markets like Singapore and Korea want to see how brands can play a bigger role in helping the country through the crisis.  

In the post lockdown world, these consumers want to reward brands who have skin in the game and that want to make the world a better place. Showing empathy in action and brand activism will become a crucial part of a product/service strategy in a world impacted existentially by the pandemic 

"Our Meaningful Brands studies are a key differentiator in helping Havas Group uphold and fulfill our mission to make a meaningful difference"

How important are Meaningful Brands reports to the Havas network and in what ways has the data been utilised in the past? 

Our Meaningful Brands studies are the bedrock of our group and a key differentiator in helping Havas Group uphold and fulfill our mission to make a meaningful difference. The reports have been critical in highlighting key opportunities across brands and countries for most of our clients and provide a clear correlation on how being meaningful helps drive business KPIs. 

How do you think this report will encourage us to spring to quicker action and be more fearless in our decision-making? 

Crises instigate a need for a reexamination of our values. It changes how consumers view brands, how they interact with them and their expectations of products and services.  

With this report, we wanted to know what people in these five key Asian markets found meaningful as we came out of lockdown. Had Covid-19 temporarily or permanently changed their outlook? Did it cause them to rethink how they want to live their lives? Should brands continue communicating with Covid tonality or is it business as usual? Where is the balance? 

Meaningful Brands® The Fast & Fearless edition found answers to these questions and really shined a spotlight on the expectation gap across all the categories and countries. It will help our Group and our clients in APAC by inspiring fearless decision-making and it will guide us to continue making meaningful difference to consumers, brands and businesses. 

Patricia Murphy joined Havas Group in October 2019 as a Senior Editor and Writer. She has a background in digital journalism and content creation.

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