The Influence of COVID-19 Pandemic on Consumer–brand Relationships: Evidence of Brand Evangelism Behaviors

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date



The paper reports findings from a two-stage study of consumer–brand relationships conducted between April 2021 and June 2021, at a time the COVID-19 pandemic had forced consumers to live through social distancing mandates and school/office closures. Initial exploration via focus groups began in April 2021 for the purpose of generating grounded theory, hypotheses, and measurement scales relevant to their experiences of brand consumption during this period. The second study tested the grounded hypotheses based on a nationwide sample of consumers in June 2021. The study finds evidence of three distinct brand-related behaviors in response to the COVID-19-induced stresses; i.e., heightened intentionality about brand choices, heightened concern for brand sponsors’ ethical behaviors toward their employees, and engagement in brand evangelism behaviors.


At the time this article was submitted for publication, Ruchika Sachdeva was a professor in the Jack Welch College of Business & Technology at Sacred Heart University.