New Research Reveals How Singaporeans’ Brand Preferences Have Shifted During The Pandemic

The preferences, behaviours, and expectations all shifted.

New Research Reveals How Singaporeans’ Brand Preferences Have Shifted During The Pandemic

Qualtrics, the leader in customer experience and creator of the experience management category, today launched new research revealing how Singaporeans’ preferences, behaviours, and expectations of the brands they engage with has shifted during the first 6 months of the pandemic. Building on research from May 2020, the study revealed that even though restrictions have changed the actions brands are taking continue to have a significant impact on consumers. Again, more than 90 per cent agreed that during a crisis brand actions impact trust – with 57% of people agreeing the impact was major.

Similar to the earlier study, the drivers of brand trust are consistent. Not taking advantage of a crisis to maximise profits remains the most important (40%), followed by maintaining reasonable pricing (37%), and taking care of customers (32%) and employees (27%).

Where we start to see a shift among Singaporeans is in their communication preferences, and the messages they want to receive.

The top brand communications people want to receive right now are sales and promotion emails (52%) – this is an increase of 11% from May when it was 4th ranked. While updates into how brands are responding to the pandemic (48%) continue to be important, the segment experienced a 20% drop from earlier in the year. Information into products and services (47%), safety and hygiene protocols (43%) and reward programs (41%) make up the top 5 messages Singaporeans want to hear. Of less importance now are information on changes to business distribution (36% – down 13%) and how businesses are treating employees (27% – down 5%). 

When it comes to the medium, Singaporeans are increasingly choosing email and social media while moving away from traditional broadcast and online channels. 

Medium Sept 2020 May 2020 Difference
Email 60% 52% +8
Facebook 47% 44% +3
Whatsapp 45% 41% +4
Online media 38% 46% -8
Instagram 32% 31% +1
TV advertising 19% 29% -10
Twitter 13% 7% +6
Mobile app 13%
Radio 11% 14% -3
TikTok 9% 3% +6
Viber 5%

“Being able to identify, understand, and respond to rapidly changing expectations is business-critical during the pandemic, and long after it. The fact that preferences toward the message and the medium have changed and yet the importance of actions remains hugely important reveals brands cannot afford to stand still in how they engage consumers. As we move forward through the pandemic preferences and attitudes will continue to shift. This is why it’s hugely important businesses use technology like Qualtrics to have an “always on the pulse” of consumer sentiment and behaviour tracking. Insights delivered by Qualtrics help identify the lead indicators businesses need to design and deliver the brand communications and experiences people want, and which ultimately cultivate the trust needed to succeed,” said Lisa Khatri, Research and Brand Experience Lead for Qualtrics in APJ.

*Qualtrics surveyed 328 Singaporeans (aged 18-65) in early September 2020.