NEWS12 March 2024

Brands can act more to help consumers with cost of living, says Visa

AI Annual Conference 2024 Cost of Living News UK

UK – Brands could do more to support people around the world in tackling the cost-of-living crisis, a session at the MRS annual conference has heard.

C Space and Visa at MRS Annual Conference

Insight agency C Space and financial transactions giant Visa discussed a research project looking at global reactions from consumers to the cost-of-living crisis and the impact on quality of life.

The research found that more than half of people were cutting back on things they enjoy due to their financial situation and the cost of living, with the research touching on 1,693 qualitative stories and a quantitative survey of 4,973 people since the end of 2022.

Sarah Emmerson, senior insight manager at Visa, said that one of the findings of the research was that consumers wanted more support from brands.

“When we asked consumers what brands were doing, it was disappointing that there weren’t brands there that had a really supportive function in this space,” she said. “There is an opportunity for brands to be doing more.”

Emmerson added that the research underlined Visa’s role in consumer protection through its role in securing financial transactions, and the importance of highlighting “the power of that protection”.

Neha Mittal, practice director, CX/UX lead at C Space, highlighted the importance of interrogating data with a cultural or generational lens, noting that different countries had different approaches to the cost-of-living crisis, such as resilience in Germany or optimism in India.

Mittal also covered the role of artificial intelligence (AI) in the research, noting that “what AI is able to do is create more structure in the process” and said that it was a good research partner – “it was able to create an acceleration in where I wanted to do analysis”.

“AI is transforming our sector in ways that were unimaginable,” Mittal added. “We need to embrace it with care, consideration and confidence.”