Center for Asia Pacific Business Research, Economics and Innovation


JGBS Pandemic Lecture Series

Lecture 5

Thursday, June 4, 2020, 6:30PM (New Delhi)                                                      

Consumer Behaviour Post-Covid: 5 Ways Through Which We’ll Use Products, Services and Brands

SPEAKER: Prof. Laknath Jayasinghe

Professor and Vice Dean (International)

Jindal Global Business School


What’s the future for brands, post-Covid? Can’t grasp how your consumers will behave in these changing and challenging times? How will this global pandemic impact how we purchase and engage with goods and services from the marketplace? The Covid pandemic has heightened our focus on the tensions and decisions that brand strategists generally face. Brand managers must understand the fundamentals of consumer behaviour, make decisions based on limited knowledge, and develop strategies and tactics in markets gripped by rapid change and uncertainty. This webinar is for anyone who wants to understand the deep drivers and fundmentals of consumer behaviour. It presents 5 ways through which we can look at our brands and consumers afresh, and recharge and rethink our perspectives of how consumers will attend to brands going forward.


Dr. Laknath Jayasinghe is Professor & Vice Dean (International) at Jindal Global Business School. He is also Associate Director at JGU’s Centre for India Australia Studies (CIAS). Australian born and raised, Laknath gained his PhD in consumer anthropology at the University of Melbourne after completing his MPhil in cultural studies at the University of Queensland. Laknath teaches brand management and his research applies a sociocultural lens to understand how and why people engage with branded products and services. His scholarly publications have appeared in the top shelf journals in his field, such as Journal of Consumer Research and Marketing Theory.

Prior to his appointment at JGBS, Laknath was Research Director at Ward6, Sydney, one of the Asia-Pacific’s leading advertising agencies serving the healthcare and medicines sector. Before his research career, Laknath worked for several years in advertising at the global media planning giants Zenithmedia and Mindshare. Laknath has also commented about marketing and cultural issues in publications such as B&T, Marketing Magazine, New Matilda, The Australian, and The Age. His popular writing on consumer behaviour has also appeared in the iconic American literary monthly, Harper’s Magazine.

Moderator: Dr. Anuj Kapoor, Assistant professor (Marketing), JGBS.

Prof Laknath gave valuable insights on the future of brands after the Covid-19 and the impacts of consumer buying behaviour. His writings talk about anthropology and the influence of ads. His works discuss how the ordinary promoting settings of social association, seeing space, media innovation use and time influence buyer reactions to TV ads text messages [1]. Dr. Jayasinghe’s paper was voted in the top 16 must read by the journal editors in the marketing field. He talked about five ways in which a shift in the consumer behaviour can be observed in the post Covid-19 world:

  1. More connected by representing more social messages

Brands should focus on ads which depict more connected world and gives a socially beneficial meaning. The traditional perspective is defined in economics as the consumers trying to maximize his/her utility and after a certain point there is decline in the satisfaction derived. Brand meaning is linked to brand equity and further brand equity is linked to brand knowledge from a cognitive perspective. The meaning interpreted by an individual consumer after watching an ad, and the meaning derived in the form of brand awareness. The Aaker and Keller perspective does not account for the new developments in brand research. Their research neglects the new developments in the research of the brand.

The new brand management approach identifies brands as a part of culture and portray the sense of “socialised” nature instead of individualism. The collectivism approach creates a socialised sense of brand meaning which has a great impact on brand building and positioning. The Nike Ad (Da Da Ding: showed the sociocultural approach of inspiring the Indian women to embrace their position in the sports and the Nike tried to show a new cultural meaning in the form of women empowerment in India.
Another example is the “Share a coke” campaign in India (showed they are happy to celebrate social relationships and their drink helps people bond together and bond friendship networks strongly. The brands should attempt to personalise brand meaning through a more connected image of the brand.

  1. Brands creates social linking values

The brand usage signals value through symbolic illustration of the brand. This representation has a greater impact on the minds of consumer. The brands have embedded people into collective groups to strengthen their social bonds. Brands are used as resources to connect with social issues i.e. Absolute Vodka supporting the LGBTQ community.
The ad by Calvin Klein ( shows the celebration of self-love and confidence by the famous celebrities characterizing the individual social identity with the sense of collectively. The brand tries to signal to others about the upcoming styles and trends and the power of doing what you like by wearing a CK product.

  1. Brands as consumption of global modernity

Brands works into the thought of worldwide customer culture which is designed on specific worldwide progressions of cultural resources. Brands are embedded in this culture and are universal market systems with a common distinction. Brands try to show the factors of independence and modernity and use the brand for individual self-expression, and they are achieving the global standards of achievements.
The advertisement by Apple “Creativity goes on” ( shows the token of symbolization that the pandemic has the power to bring everyone together and depicts the usage of Apple gadgets for various activities during a lockdown.

  1. Brands as resistance to global modernity

Where some theories favour the globalisation and spread of global culture others provides a critique of dissemination of global brand culture. The professor talks about a campaign launched by Pepsi featuring Kendall Jenner ( to represent a protest and the campaign was pulled off because of the consumer’s unacceptance.

  1. Ethics of the brand culture

Ethics are an important part of the businesses and brands makes various claims about their products and the consumers expect these brands to match the claims they make. With the advancement in culture the consumers can provide a feedback to various brands about the shortcomings. Consumers are more worried about their ethical behaviour and act in the society as per their values.

The advertising by H&M “Lets change for tomorrow” ( shows the change of their patterns to position themselves into a Covid-19 world and announced their ethical initiative to enhance consumers to buy and prefer a sustainable fashion. Their commitment results in that this form of consumption will help us to lead a better future.

The trends continuing after the COVID-19 lead to increased message of socialisation through the brands and holding tight their linking values will have better retainment and connection between the brands and the consumers. The need of the hour is to create strong linkages through increased ethical practices by the brands.

Works Cited

[1]L. JAYASINGHE and M. RITSON, “Everyday Advertising Context: An Ethnography of Advertising Response in the Family Living Room,” Journal of Consumer Research, Vol. 40, No. 1, pp. pp. 104-121, 2013.

Summary report by: Shreya Charaya, MBA 2019.