coronavirus anticipation index v2

Coronavirus Anticipation Index V.2 – August, 2020

By indexing the changes in anticipation for 21 key activities over time, American consumers are showing us when they think it will be ok to go back into the water.

Nearly A Third of Consumers See Return to Regular Routines Months Away

Voting and Opening Schools Affected

For Some Consumers ‘Cabin Fever’ Accelerates Return To Normalcy

Nearly one-third of Americans (31%) have shifted their opinions to longer timetables as to when they believe they can resume normal activities tracked in the “Coronavirus Anticipation Index.”  The 8th wave of research conducted by TheCustomer, Brand Keys, and Suzy, identified a significant shift in 10 (of the 21) activities tracked, with consumers moving them into the one to six- month range before they think it will be acceptable to participate again.

What’s On Hold?

Activities consumers have decided they’ll wait a bit longer before resuming included:

  • Going to the mall
  • Going to a spa
  • Attending classes in person
  • Voting in person
  • Going to a department store
  • Eating inside a restaurant
  • Going to a bar
  • Getting a haircut
  • Having people over
  • Visiting relatives

“With 5+ million COVID-19 cases, 167,000+ COVID deaths, and 56 million unemployment claims, a certain pessimistic reality has set in,” noted Robert Passikoff, founder and president of Brand Keys, Inc., the New York-based brand loyalty and customer engagement consultancy. “The pandemic isn’t going away anytime soon, and consumers aren’t hastily throwing themselves back into normal activities.”

Based on the current wave of research the optimistic near-term looks to be October. The reality is closer to February 2021.

Is Anything Safe?

“Consumer attitudes did shift positively for three activities,” said Mike Giambattista, publisher of TheCustomer, the weekly newsletter covering intelligence from the customer insight universe. “Given the current economy and the pandemic, activities consumer felt would be reasonable to resume in the next 30 days reflect, perhaps, the setting in of ‘cabin fever,’ people sheltering-in have reported.” Those activities included:

  • Going to the gym
  • Using an Uber or Lyft
  • Using a motel room

Real COVID-19 Consequences to School Openings and Voting

“According to recent UNESCO reports, 100 countries are implementing nationwide school closures,” observed Giambattista. “In the United States, reopening primary and secondary schools has  been heavily politicized, with parents, teachers, and politicians at odds with when – and how – to reopen safely.”

In a recent tweet, President Trump wrote, “Play College Football,” calling for college football to resume amid his push for all academic institutions to reopen in the Fall. “Though it’s interesting to note, the Pac-12 and Big Ten conferences have announced they will cancel or postpone the 2020 college football season due to the coronavirus pandemic,” said Passikoff.

“As to voting in person,” continued Passikoff, “Seventy percent of Americans believe the coronavirus outbreak will significantly disrupt people’s ability to vote in the presidential election.”

“Unfortunately, this wave of tracking data bears all that out,” warned Giambattista.

anticipation index v2


The survey and analysis for the Coronavirus Anticipation Index were conducted the week of August 3, 2020. This week’s Wave Eight findings are based on 3,010 total responses from a U.S. panel population, ages 17-70 with a 50/50 gender split.

About Brand Keys

Brand Keys specializes in customer loyalty and engagement research, providing brand equity metrics that accurately predict future, in-market consumer behavior that correlates with sales and profitability.

About Suzy

Suzy helps you make better, faster, more data-driven decisions. Their platform combines advanced research tools with the highest quality audience to deliver trusted insights in minutes.


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