September 5, 2023
From the announcement of the “level three alert” of the epidemic in May to the ten-digit number of COVID-19 infections in recent days, although the variant viruses from the United Kingdom, India and other places are coming, it is fair to say that the current epidemic in Taiwan has been significantly controlled compared with other countries. During the great concussion of these two or three months, everyone’s "social distancing" greetings changed from "Hey, vaccine is probably not necessary!" to actively ask each other "Have you made an appointment for vaccination?" Looking at the development of the epidemic and looking forward to the next development, what are Taiwanese people thinking? What are the keywords and key concepts that we can reshape and grasp the characteristics of consumers?
From the latest survey, it is found that the volatility in consumer’s confidence has gradually stabilized since June and it is estimated that the time to return to normal in the future has been gradually shortened and stabilized after reaching the most pessimistic point in June. Among them, the 16-29-year-old age group has the highest expectation that it will recover from the external environment. Despite this, although the general public’s perception of the severity of the epidemic has gradually stabilized since June, most people still believe that the epidemic is quite serious and dare not lower their guard.
And currently it is regarded as one of the important public health policies to prevent COVID-19 that getting vaccinated can improve herd immunity and prevent individuals from falling severely ill due to infection and suffering from irreversible damage to the lungs. Vaccination is regarded as the most important and necessary public health preventive measure. The survey showed that in line with media news and related promotion, the willingness of Taiwanese people to get vaccinated has risen to 60% in July, showing that regardless of the disputes of various vaccine brands, vaccination has become a basic consensus.
However, it is worth noting that in estimating the time to return to normal life, surveys show that women believe that it takes a long time to return to normal; but in terms of willingness to get vaccinated, women are still slightly less proactive than men. Perhaps this generally shows that women are more reserved in estimating the epidemic or in actual actions, whether it is necessary to obtain further information to make a judgment, or to need more reasonable information to help clarify doubts. In any case, males and females may respond ang judge the epidemic differently. Perhaps this makes clear distinctions between them in marketing of related product functions or packaging meanings, which can even hit their respective pain points.
Especially in July, even though the epidemic has been relatively controlled, surveys show that Taiwanese consumers’ budgets for tourism and luxury goods are still very low. However, on the other hand, even the news of the "lifting the lockdown" cannot be held back, the living supplies for staying at home for a long period of time are still expected to be purchased in bulk, including packaged food, housewares, medical and health care products, etc., whose budgets have increased by at least 40%.
Accordingly, companies that originally worked hard in related industries should fine-tune their product positioning, for example, for people’s long-term demand for health food at home, or related health care courses, etc. The catering industry, which bears the brunt and has been severely impacted, should also face up to the increasing demand for take-out and the habitual trend that consumers gradually develop, and carry out matching, research and development and innovation. In addition, even if it is about to open for internal dining, it’s also challenging to redefine this unique consumer experience and level up the hardware and software equipment. Finally, even if it is not like the travel agency industry's complete business transformation, the COVID-19 epidemic is like another wave of "wave X upgrade revolution" that is forcing everyone forward, because we must normalize and get used to coexisting with the constantly mutating virus for a long time. Whether it is from the manufacturing side, sales channels, marketing methods, we need to gradually adjust and develop a set of business models that can adapt to changes in the epidemic and people's lifestyles, and to have well-resilient business models.
However, all things must return to "people". Everyone is an individual first, and then workers, consumers, and various attributes and roles in the workplace. In addition to the fact that some reports have pointed out, returning to the office from WFH is not only very helpful to create a sense of identity for workers, but also makes people cherish the needs and precious feelings of getting along with people. However, from having to WFH in the beginning until now getting accustomed to it as an option, how to properly deploy the field of expertise to increase work efficiency is probably a question that all professionals must think about.
How to really catch people's inner desires in marketing requires observation and insight, especially focusing on the 20% of the opinion leaders. This survey not only shows that the budget of this group of people will increase in the future, but business should also cooperate with them, or at least observe the trend of these people more keenly than others, in order to grasp the latest needs and tastes of consumers.
As experienced in other countries, despite the high vaccination coverage, the epidemic is still likely to strike one after another, and there is still the possibility of entering the state of lockdown again. Getting vaccinated is like getting a dose of vaccine first, and this precaution is indeed also a service that consumers expect products to provide in a timely manner. Therefore, how the industry has the resilience to continue and respond to crises is more than just in emergency response and crisis management but, more importantly, in learning the important layout of long-term planning and holistic thinking.