What Can Friendship Tell Brands About Consumer Connection?

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What Can Friendship Tell Brands About Consumer Connection?

People around the world are using digital means to stay connected during a time of relative physical isolation, brought on by the pandemic. That’s one of the key findings from our research behind The Friendship Report 2020, conducted with Snapchat. The study, which spanned 30,000 respondents in 16 countries, gave us a window into consumer behavior when it comes to relationships. Our CEO Rebecca Brooks wrote about some of the findings in her most recent article for Forbes, titled “Friendship, technology, and how brands can build connections today.”

Friendships Are Resilient

While one would expect that friendships have been negatively affected, our research found that 67% of people say that they are maintaining and, in some cases, even growing their relationships with others. To do so, they are using “platforms like Snapchat and other social mediums to keep up.” People are even having more in-depth conversations and interactions than they may have had pre-pandemic. 

That’s not to say every friendship is thriving. Two-thirds of our respondents reporting feelings of loneliness, something that would inevitably have been exacerbated without the myriad digital connectivity options that are available to us today. However, Rebecca cautions that moving a friendship online takes some legwork as friends must find a platform, and ways to convey more complex messages or emotions, that works for both parties.


Brands Must Adapt

Brands should consider how this new consumer reality is affecting behaviors. They need to comprehend the new ways people are building connections with one another, and their feelings about those connections, in order to engage with their own audiences. Rebecca recommends boosting digital efforts, along with communications that reassure and nurture confidence.

Technology and digital platforms are filling the gap,” she concludes. “Successful brands will use these tools to help achieve the sense of community that people are seeking right now.”


The Friendship Report 2020 was a thought-provoking, rigorous project. We’re excited to share it with you.


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