MONDAY 25 APR 2022 9:39 AM


Brands must prove that they can offer tangible and meaningful solutions to the cost of living crisis facing families across the UK, according to a new study from Havas Media Group. The ‘Cost of Living’ study uses Havas’ Meaningful Brands framework to measure the impact of the crisis and how brands can best support consumers.

The study aims to understand how the cost of living crisis is impacting people in the UK, with data collected via an online survey of 700 respondents. The Havas Media Group’s insight team then conducted an analysis of the findings.

Most age groups surveyed believe the cost of living crisis will last between one and two years, with 59% planning to cut back on future spending to afford essentials. Those aged between 18 and 44 years of age were found to be most eager to cut back on future spending.  

Tony Mattson, head of strategy at Havas Media Group, says, “Marketing exists to attract customers and create value for them. The cost-of-living crisis presents a fundamental challenge to marketers as the number of people in market and their intended spend are depressed and will continue to be so for some time. However, the effects of the crisis will be felt unevenly, and the smartest marketers will be attuned to this.”

Havas Media Group identified three core pillars impacting the relationship between people and brands during the cost of living crisis: functional benefits of a product or service (what does the brand deliver), personal benefits (how a brand can improve people’s lives) and collective benefits (a brands role within wider society).

Consumer expectations of brands have risen by 63% across all three pillars since the cost of living crisis began. There is a greater importance placed on the delivery of functional benefits, with 74% of people noting the value of delivering on promises and 74% pointing to the the offer of high-quality products and services.

Fair pricing saw the largest increase in terms of consumer expectations. There was a three-quarter net increase in the number of people stating that brands should offer products and services that are priced fairly for the quality, compared to pre-crisis levels.

Saving money was seen as the highest rising personal benefit, with a 77% increase in the number of people stating it is now more important for brands to help consumers save money.

“Brands will need to create meaningful experiences around their products and services tailored and made relevant to the needs and mindsets of different audiences. Flexibility, adaptability and an understanding of context will be critical to retaining and winning people’s trust,” adds Mattson.