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Corporate communications

The seventh Kekst CNC international tracking survey finds that as vaccines roll out, businesses are facing increasing reputational risks in the latter stages of the pandemic. As an example, we find that the pharmaceutical industry has received contrasting opinions recently. In the UK, the pharmaceutical industry has seen a significant boost to its brand, placing it alongside highly rated industries like supermarkets and the NHS. On the other hand, Europe has seen significant dips in the reputation of the pharmaceutical industry following bumps in the rollout of vaccination schemes. However, the picture across industries is a thumbs-up for businesses’ response, but a warning that brand reputation can shift quickly and unexpectedly. And, as the pandemic reaches its one year-mark, there is a growing belief that governments are not doing enough to support business.

Corporate communications

The sixth Kekst CNC international tracking survey shows that the relationship between business and the general public will be transformed by the crisis. As 2020 has unfolded, individual corporates and sectors that had hitherto been unloved or the focus of severe criticism, have been at the heart of shared efforts to deal with the challenges of COVID-19. But our survey finds that a positive performance during the pandemic is not a blank reputational cheque. Consumers across all six countries expecting those who have come out of the pandemic best to share a larger burden of taxation in the months and years ahead. For employers, our survey reveals that new ways of working have become established and expected, with employees insistent on flexible models of working after the end of the coronavirus pandemic – and significant numbers say they will look at other employers if this flexibility is not provided.

Corporate communications

The fifth Kekst CNC international tracking survey shows that in many countries business continues to be seen as having responded more effectively to the pandemic than government. However, there are signs that this faith in business may be declining after a very strong performance in the first months of the pandemic. Employees' priorities over the next three months are focused on pay, keeping their job, and health and safety measures​. However, mood matters too, with the top demand from German employees being to build a feeling that senior executives and employees alike are all in this together. Employers will need to bear this in mind as they look to take their employees with them through the autumn and winter months.

Corporate communications

The fourth edition of our international COVID-19 Opinion Tracker shows that the public’s view of business is showing signs of deteriorating. Throughout the first three months of the tracker, business has performed well in the public’s eyes. It has been seen as stepping up during the crisis, and is perceived as having handled the pandemic well. Though this still stands, business brands are in a delicate position as the focus shifts to lay-offs and economic damage. The survey also found that employees who have returned to their workplace across the globe say they had a better experience than expected, that it was more safe than expected, that they were more productive than they expected, and that they are now more likely to stay with their employer. However, employers will need to continue to provide leadership on this as more return to workplaces and offices.

Corporate communications

Kekst CNC’s COVID 19 Opinion Tracker has become a key measure of public opinion throughout the current crisis, and an important tool for companies as they seek to understand changing attitudes towards established institutions, particular sectors, corporate and individual behaviour and considerations such as ESG. The third wave of our tracking survey has found that across the United States, the UK, Germany, France, Sweden and Japan the public believes that Germany has dealt best with the pandemic crisis, while the United States and UK are the worst responders.

Corporate communications

The second edition of our international COVID-19 Opinion Tracker shows that the public continues to prioritise health over the economy in most countries. The survey findings have significant implications for business leaders as well as policy-makers around the world. It shows that even compared to just a month ago, people are expecting the impact of COVID-19 to last longer.