One of the most debilitating things about living through this pandemic is the fact it seems that no one really knows what the eff is going on. Or rather, how it will end and what the world will look like when we emerge on the other side. To be a clichéd strategist about it all, it’s the absence of a broader narrative that leaves everyone with a deep feeling of instability. And while we’d usually look to traditional institutions for answers, we’re faced with relying on structures that are faltering and devoid of public trust. From contradictory statements issued from the government that change daily (‘the taskforce is closing, no it’s staying!‘) to a media echo chamber that is plagued by fake news, to the point where platforms like Twitter have introduced warning messages on tweets containing misleading information about Covid-19 , how are consumers supposed to know who to trust and where to get their facts from?In the absence of a narrative for us to hold on to and with trust in traditional institutions at a low ebb, the dividend for brands who can fill this void is high, as we saw when the Steak-umm Twitter account suddenly became a trusted source for substantive information related to the pandemic. It’s not just the right thing to do, but the smart thing; as we already know that there’s a significant financial dividend at the end of the trust rainbow, with a proven relationship between trust and frequency of purchase.
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