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The CDC estimates that upwards of 20% of people will get the flu in a given season. With peak cold and flu season looming around the corner, how can brands help consumers combat the uncomfortable symptoms that come along with a cold and help them find relief?
We surveyed 25,954 consumers across the Kiip network to investigate how people are gearing up to take on cold and flu season.
Flu Season Hits Home (And Office, and Subway)
Only 1 in 4 of respondents reported that no one in their household suffered from the cold or flu last year. 55% claimed someone in their household had the flu once or twice, and 22% say that the flu hit their home more than twice. While some of us will manage to avoid the cold and flu, it’s nearly guaranteed that someone close will not be as lucky.
Respondents are making an effort to avoid the flu however possible. The most common approach is frequent hand washing (30%), followed by getting a flu shot (29%), taking Vitamin C or an immunity booster (18%) and avoiding public transportation (6%).
What Ailes Us
The most uncomfortable symptoms reported were feeling weak or tired (23%), a sore throat (19%), congestion(19%), coughing (16%) and a runny nose (10%).
Consumers are quick to reach for cold medicine once they start to experience symptoms. Two thirds will have already made a stop at the pharmacy within a day of their first cold symptom. However, only half plan to buy new cold medicine this year with most hoping to manage with whatever they currently have in their medicine cabinet.
Over-the-counter medicine isn’t the only approach sick consumers are taking. When asked what helps you feel better when you're sick, rest (41%) and soup (19%) topped the list. Medicine was the third most popular option, with 16% of respondents selecting.
How Marketers Can Help During Cold and Flu Season
Brands can make the lives of consumers more comfortable during cold and flu season in a few ways:
- Highlight Benefits in Media Messaging. Clearly highlight how your product can help relieve the most bothersome cold and flu symptoms, like feeling weak or tired, or a sore throat.
- Audience Targeting. Although brands should steer clear of any mobile targeting that might suggest knowledge of private medical needs, there's still an opportunity for brands to be of service to consumers during peak times of health concern. OTC cold relief brands combined with known information about high-risk mobile users — perhaps people with children or those who frequent public transportation hubs — to reach out with valuable health and wellness, as well discounts on cold medication. Similarly, an allergy medicine brand could leverage known seasonal information and weather data to predict spikes in regional allergy behavior and reach out in advance to alert mobile users to high pollen counts.
- Surprise & Delight. Bring instant relief to those in need this cold and flu season by partnering with Kiip and Fooji to greet flu suffers with a remedy of instant relief, delivered immediately to their doorstep when they need it most.
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