Austerity Index Q2: Brands should lend a helping hand

//5 August 2013
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The current economic climate is squeezing everyone’s margins and piling pressure on companies to deliver more for less. But according to JWT London’s latest Austerity Index report, austerity also provides an opportunity for brands and companies to help consumers and win loyalty (66% agree).

In fact, such is the opportunity that 10% more people agree with this sentiment than they did in the first wave of the report, released in April this year.

What’s more, a whopping 84% believe that companies and brands should make more effort to help consumers indicating that the opportunity is yet to be fully seized.

The Austerity Index report also provides some thought-starters on the types of actions brands could take to convince consumers of their support and ultimately win loyalty.

Consumers are looking for more practical support that goes beyond simply alleviating some of their financial burden. Brands that make efforts to connect with local communities by funding initiatives (64%), supporting small businesses (69%) and even offering paid apprenticeships/training to help those out of work (73%) should reap the benefits.

Another popular approach is to focus help where it is most needed; 65% say brands should help those most affected by austerity. Our data shows that it’s low-income households who are bearing the brunt: more people from this group than any other choose to put themselves in the most severely affected decile across all of the metrics we use to measure austerity.

Regardless of strategy, it seems the door is wide open for brands to step in and help consumers.

Below is a list of suggestions, of ways that brands/companies could do more to help people cope with austerity. Please indicate to what extent you agree that brands should do each of the following:


More promotional offers/prices 75%
Offer fair rewards for my loyalty 73%
Offer paid apprenticeships/training to help those out of work 73%
Paying their corporation tax 69%
Supporting small businesses in their community/sector 69%
Offer money-saving tips/advice/tools 69%
Doing something to help those most affected by austerity (i.e. out of work, low income etc.) 65%
Funding initiatives in the local community 64%
Different levels/tiers of access (e.g. basic ranges) 57%
Value-adding services for free (e.g. Nike Running Clubs) 49%
Demonstrating empathy (i.e. via ads/communications) 45%
I don’t want any help from brands 15%



The full Q2 report is available to download here.


Notes to Editors:
600 UK adults surveyed in June 2013 using the JWT SONAR panel.

About the JWT Austerity Index:The JWT Austerity Index is an in-depth quarterly research survey that analyses the impact of prolonged economic adversity on UK consumers and markets. The Austerity Index aims to diagnose Britain’s emotional and rational reply to austerity, delivering the answers that brands and organisations need today.

Our Q1 report is also still available for download here.

For more information please contact