New IPA poll reveals how brands can help consumers through cost of living crisis

The survey of 2000 adults was commissioned by the IPA and carried out by Opinium.

Instead of looking to brands to entertain us or make us laugh through the cost of living crisis, consumers are wanting brands to focus on fair pricing and value for money. This is according to a new nationally representative survey of 2000 adults, commissioned by the IPA and carried out by Opinium.

In response to the following question – What would consumers like brands to do to support them through the cost-of-living crisis? (Pick a maximum of five answers), the most popular ways cited are:

  • Keep prices fair (57%)
  • Freeze price on value-range products or services (36%)
  • Offer more value for money promotions (33%)
  • Reward existing customers’ loyalty (30%)
  • Increase the number of promotions they offer (28%)

In terms of the top preference of brands keeping prices fair, this was desired more acutely by women than men (62% vs 52%), and even more so (by one hundred percent) from those aged 55+ (72% vs 36% of 18-34s).

At the other end of the scale, however, consumers are least in favour of brands taking the following actions:

  • Entertain and make customers laugh/smile (5%)
  • Engage directly with customers to develop new solutions and ideas (8%)
  • Offer affordable customer finance (10%)

In terms of consumers not wanting brands to entertain them, this is five times more unwanted among the older generations aged 55+ (2%) than by those aged 18-34% at 10%.

Says Paul Bainsfair, Director General, IPA: "The cost of living crisis is a serious issue, especially for those at the older end of the spectrum, so it is understandable that consumers aren’t looking to brands to provide the fun but to provide help where it hits hardest - their finances. With further pressures forecast, this won’t be easy for brands to navigate, but as the data shows, those that are fair and transparent with their pricing and value proposition may well fare better in their customers’ eyes going forward."

Download the full data
Last updated 27 May 2022