Consumer attitude is a field of interest to marketers. Attitude is directly related to consumer behavior — if you have a positive attitude towards a brand, you are more likely to buy it. The functional theory defines four different functions explaining consumer behavior: utilitarian function, ego-defensive function, knowledge function, and value-expressive function.
The ego-defensive function is related to the expectation of consumers that products will defend them from external threats or internal feelings. One example is dandruff shampoo: consumers buy it expecting it will save them from a condition they find potentially embarrassing.
After one month of COVID-19, Ryte Magazine conducted an SEO analysis of 4,800 domains to evaluate how searcher behavior has shifted due to the pandemic. The magazine analyzed clicks, impressions, CTR, and keyword position to assess which industries have profited, and which have lost out.
According to the analysis, the industries negatively impacted are Travel & Tourism, Vehicles, Real Estate, Beauty, Personal Care & Apparel. On the other hand, the positively-impacted industries are News, Media & Publications, Food & Groceries, Computers & Electronics, and Hobbies & Leisure.
For example, the study shows that, for Travel & Tourism, there was a significant drop in impressions per day, and most clicks are related to keywords such as “cancellations” and “contact.” For News, Media and Publications, the analyzes show that the demand for news topics has increased due to the uncertainty of current times, with growing impressions driven by coronavirus-related keywords.
What this research illustrates is a shift in consumer attitude towards some categories based on the ego-defensive function. As protection from the external threat represented by the coronavirus, consumers are associating negative keywords when searching for specific categories. This new reality is undoubtedly only one of the trends that coronavirus will change in consumer behavior.