Facing fear: Our new white paper on consumer anxiety

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Facing fear: Our new white paper on consumer anxiety

We are pleased to announce that our new white paper “Facing Fear: Understanding Consumer Anxiety” is now available. The topic of fear has taken on a whole new meaning in the face of the COVID-19 global emergency, and this heightened anxiety can be a big driver for decision-making, loyalty and more.

Our new findings, detailed in the paper, demonstrate that U.S. consumers were already acting from a place of worry and concern. We know it is vital for brands to continue tracking consumer sentiment so that they can adapt to a new reality and maintain authentic, trusting and engaged relationships with consumers.

We provide the latest data, plus practical advice for brands and companies in the new paper. Check out the complete news release below for details!

Alter Agents Releases White Paper “Facing Fear: Understanding Anxious Consumers”

Market research consultancy uncovers new research on American consumer sentiment and behaviors 

Los Angeles, CA – 23 April 2020Alter Agents, a full-service market research consultancy, has released “Facing Fear: Understanding Anxious Consumers.” The white paper covers new data and insights from the firm’s recent nationally representative U.S. study surrounding consumer fear and anxiety. The research revealed existing, systemic consumer fears that were affecting behavior, even before the exacerbation caused by the current pandemic. 

“The COVID-19 global emergency has disrupted life and heightened anxiety across the world, but fear is not new to consumers,” said Rebecca Brooks, CEO of Alter Agents. “Our new research found that U.S. consumers were already acting from a place of worry and concern. Brands must continue to track these important emotions and sentiments so that they can adapt to this reality to maintain authentic, trusting and engaged relationships with consumers.”

“Facing Fear: Understanding Anxious Consumers” explores the undercurrents of anxiety and fear that plague American consumers as they navigate foundational challenges. It examines how perceptions vary across different segments of the population in an effort to explain how best to break through the uncertainty. The paper also presents data about how a fundamentally altered and fractured media landscape is impacting those perceptions and feeding division.

Some key findings explored in the paper, which includes data collected from 1,300 US residents over the age of 18, include:


  • The top three universal fears among consumers, no matter the generation, included healthcare, personal finances and climate change.
  • Respondents felt confident (72%) when it came to their own lives and immediate situations, in sharp contrast to their views on macro-level issues facing society with just  27% believing that the world is safe.
  • There is a gender confidence gap, particularly among parents. For example, Dads rate themselves 24% points higher than moms on “I am a confident person.”
  • Across indices of political, personal, and financial fear, there was a large disparity in fear levels that was dependent on media consumption habits. For example, New York Times readers were much more likely to have high fears surrounding politics (41%) than Fox News consumers (17%). 

The new paper has been published to help brands and companies understand the underlying societal trends shaping how U.S. consumers feel, and uncover their role in boosting morale and positive activity during a challenging time. “Facing Fear: Understanding Anxious Consumers” can be downloaded here: https://alteragents.com/download-our-latest-white-paper-here/


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