Experts, stating that the pandemic period also deeply affects consumer behavior, draw attention to the fact that isolation and increased interpersonal distance cause different socialization practices of individuals. According to experts, the integration of business life into domestic activities with the quarantine has brought changes in the priorities of consumers. Requirements such as online meetings and working from home created a need for more purchases of the electronics market and technological products. In addition, interest in cleaning products has increased.
Üsküdar University Communication Faculty Public Relations and Publicity Department Head Dr. Faculty Member Özge Uğurlu Akbaş made statements about the factors affecting consumer behavior and changing consumer preferences during the pandemic period.
Each brand's target audience is different
Stating that consumer behavior corresponds to the planned and strategic activities applied in the axis of communication studies, the brand or product is selected and transformed into purchasing behavior after the choice. Lecturer Özge Uğurlu Akbaş said that each sector, each brand or institution has target audiences in line with its own character, vision, mission and philosophy.
Noting that in all applications, message strategies are designed and arranged according to the characteristics of these audiences. Faculty Member Özge Uğurlu Akbaş said, “These are applications that include the psychological characteristics as well as the socio-demographic characteristics of the target audience. "Institutions or brands must identify well the characters, lifestyles and habits of the masses they speak to and make moves towards it."
The brand that meets current consumer expectations wins
Stating that especially with social media being at the center of life, many factors and dynamics that must be carried out in the digital sense are added to traditional advertising, marketing and public relations activities. Özge Uğurlu Akbaş noted that globalization, changing market conditions and transforming consumer profiles force institutions and brands to act in accordance with today's rules.
Dr. Faculty Member Özge Uğurlu Akbaş said, "Institutions and brands that can see the expectations, needs, wishes and requirements of the consumers and apply the current ones can make more accurate decisions in their communication studies and create a purchasing behavior in the consumer."
Consumer behaviors and socialization practices have also changed.
Stating that the pandemic process we are in has brought us to a period called 'new normal', Dr. Faculty Member Özge Uğurlu Akbaş drew attention to the fact that the masses' encounter with isolation and the increase in the distance between people also cause differentiation in the socialization practices of individuals.
Noting that this situation resulted in individuals who cannot physically come together to turn to virtual socialization tools and environments, Dr. Lecturer Özge Uğurlu Akbaş said, “With the quarantine, the integration of business life into domestic activities has created changes in the priorities of consumers, and the obligations such as online meetings and working from home have created a need for more purchases of the electronics market and technological products.
Interest in cleaning products increased
Explaining that one of the most important transformations that stood out during the pandemic period was the online shopping experience, Dr. Lecturer Özge Uğurlu Akbaş stated that it has been observed that the consumer stocking habit is increasing, fast delivery and contactless transactions come to the forefront, “Social distance and hygiene factors have become extremely important, undoubtedly, brings with it the demand for cleaning products. In addition, it is possible to say that sectors with high contact such as travel and tourism were negatively affected by this period ”.
Brands that care about helping win
Dr. Lecturer Özge Uğurlu Akbaş emphasized that institutions and brands that can analyze the sensitivities of the pandemic period and act proactively can strengthen their ties with their consumers with their proactive work, and concluded her words as follows:
“Especially institutions and brands that care about social responsibility awareness, cooperation and volunteering practices have gained visibility and appreciation before target audiences with their public relations activities during the pandemic period. Therefore, it is possible to say that with the transforming conditions and preferences, behavioral changes that are assumed to be permanent will take place in the society.