Reimagining Your Brand During the Crisis

Intro leger

We teamed up with Léger to publish a three-phase study that identifies the impacts of the COVID-19 crisis on the behaviour of Canadian consumers.

For more than two months, extensive data has been compiled and opinions on the crisis have multiplied. So why this POV? Because there was a lack of data that was specific to Canadians. Because it’s consumers – citizens – who provide us with the clearest picture of the current situation.

Our goal is to pinpoint the consumer insights that will inspire and guide you in your decision making. Because now is the time to reimagine the future.

We’ve taken a realistic but optimistic look at the data, to identify real transformation opportunities for Canadian companies.

We do not pretend to be able to predict the future. And we don’t have the only formula to meet your specific needs. What we can do is help spark new ideas that will benefit your business.

Key Consumer Insight #1

While not all new behaviours will last, expectations will.

Not surprisingly, the crisis is generating what looks like a new type of consumer behaviour among many Canadians, particularly with respect to online shopping. The situation has forced people to move a variety of daily activities to the online sphere. Initial resistance to adopting new behaviours has been considerably reduced: people who previously resisted adopting certain behaviours have essentially been forced to adopt them regardless. While we can’t be certain all these new behaviours will continue in the long term, we can anticipate that consumers’ new expectations are here to stay.

The flexibility and control that online shopping offers – what I want, when I want, from where I want – will be taken for granted. Employees, clients and partners will demand this kind of post-crisis experiential and operational flexibility. Even if a majority of people choose to only order groceries online or consult a doctor by webcam fairly rarely, people will still want these options to be available when needed. Consumers’ demands will become increasingly inflexible with respect to brands’ online capabilities.

While there will be no turning back for certain behaviours – cashless payment, for example – others are anticipated to decline, since there is likely to be a significant gap between what Canadians will want and what they can afford. While working life for many Canadians is put on hold, we see an increase in activities that require time and organization (16% more online grocery shopping for at-store pickup), and recreational or educational activities (a 23% increase in online canadian TV/movie viewing and a 44% increase in leisure time among 18-to-54-year-olds). Is it realistic to believe this will continue once confinement orders are lifted?

Key numbers

48% of Canadians made an online purchase for a new product category during the crisis.

52% of Canadians who made an online purchase for the first time say they are satisfied with the experience.

78% of Canadians say they want to continue using online services after the crisis.

Business Opportunity #1

Capitalize on the agility you’ve acquired to secure and maximize your revenue sources for the long term.

The resources required to meet clients’ new expectations are forcing organizations to review their threshold capabilities, in order to continue and remain competitive in the market. Companies that adapt efficiently are showing they are more agile than they ever imagined.

There is a major opportunity here to capitalize on this agility, to show courage and to ask key questions. What behaviours will represent the new minimum requirements for your category? What are the key strategic competencies and capabilities that are now required to define a new competitive advantage or to protect the one you’ve already acquired? Companies that can correctly distinguish their clientele’s intentions from their clientele’s capabilities and limits are the companies that will see their financial risk decrease.

In fact, we wager that some of the industries most deeply affected by the crisis – restaurants, tourism and entertainment, among them – will ultimately come out big winners in the long term, specifically because this historic moment is forcing them to fundamentally question how they operate.

Focussing on product development to penetrate a new market


Tiny house specialist Dwellito has anticipated new demand and expanded its product portfolio to reach a new segment: businesses. The brand has launched mini, mobile, modular workspaces for professionals who are confined at home.

In a context where workers are increasingly mobile and autonomous, this highly relevant product now has the potential to shake up the industry in the long term. What will the impact be on the popularity and rental costs of fixed office spaces?

Reinventing your offer to generate new revenue streams


In response to the crisis, Airbnb has redesigned its Experiences offer, diversifying its revenue and those of its hosts through “Online Experiences”, a virtual version that allows users to connect and travel in a new and different way. For a small fee, clients can take a virtual cooking class or meet a shark expert live from Australia, for example. In addition to strengthening its brand purpose of “create a world that inspires human connection”, Airbnb has managed to monetize and democratize virtual travel. Imagine if, in the long term, local residents offered virtual tours at low price points to a clientele who cannot afford to travel in person?

Developing new expertise and retooling operations


Our client CCM, well-known manufacturer of hockey gear, transformed its factory activities in record time to launch new personal protective equipment. In collaboration with Dr. René Caissie, a maxillofacial surgeon, CCM developed a super-mask to protect medical personnel.

CCM’s agile move has allowed it to test out potential new areas of opportunity. The medical category could prove to be a timely area of growth for the company, which has demonstrated its new expertise and strategic smarts. There’s a lot of room to play still.

Illustration cerveau

Would you like to see more?

This page is an excerpt from our full perspective piece, which is included in the study.

Wish to take the next step and discuss possible transformational paths for your organization?
Contact lg2

Interested in obtaining a copy of the study "The Commercial Shift: Consumer Behaviour During and After the Pandemic"?
Contact Léger

Watch the webinar showcasing key results of this study and emerging opportunities.
View here