In brands, we trust

Published on 01 May 2020 | 7 min read

In troubled times, we turn to those we can trust.

A recent study by Edelman found that 60% of those surveyed across 12 countries were turning more and more in times of crisis to brands that they were absolutely sure they can trust. That proportion is even more striking in China, a huge consumer market likely to lead us out of this downturn, where 89% of those surveyed agreed with that statement.

Source: Edelman Trust Barometer

(Please click on the graph to see a larger version)

Being a trusted brand is not enough. Consumers increasingly make decisions around how brands behave during times of crisis. Edelman’s survey found that 88% of Chinese consumers and 65% globally believe that how brands respond to the pandemic will have a "huge impact" on their likelihood to buy that brand in the future. Consumers are quick to punish brands that do not respond well. 75% of consumer surveyed in China have already stopped using a brand because they felt it was not acting appropriately in response to the pandemic.  

Source: Edelman Trust Barometer

(Please click on the graph to see a larger version)

 

So, what does this mean for IP managers? 

As companies rush to slash costs, IP managers must balance significant budget pressures with their role as custodians of long-term brand assets.   

  • IP Managers should expect no let-up in demands from marketing to support brand messaging, particularly in China. This is likely to require them to recalibrate their approach to managing legal risk in clearing brand communications.  
  • IP Managers should continue to articulate the long-term value of brand (and wider IP assets) to business stakeholders to ensure that sufficient budgets are available during the crisis. After the 2008/09 financial crash, the stock market value of stronger brands recovered up to nine times quicker than others (source: BrandZ). 
  • IP Managers must continue to take action to minimise brand interference, in the widest sense, from those exploiting trusted brands. Notably, 3M has been quick to take steps in the US against alleged price-gougers of N95 masks by asserting its trade mark rights.   

This crisis reinforces the humanity in us all.  And brands are one of the few assets a company has which can convey information with emotion, compassion and reassurance. 

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Principal, Global Head of Trade Marks
+852 2302 0832
Principal, Global Head of Trade Marks
+852 2302 0832