Study Finds Consumers Want Brands That Care

Research suggests that increasingly, consumers want brands to show that they’re willing to earn their business. Research from digital agency Wunderman found that 79 percent of American consumers ages 18 to 65 say that brands must actively demonstrate “they understand and care about me” before they consider purchasing.

Wunderman’s findings, the firm says, point to a shift from traditional marketing, which has primarily focused on developing consumer loyalty to brands, to a model in which brands now need to demonstrate their commitment to serving the consumer and exceeding their expectations every day. It has also identified a change in the competitive landscape, with 87 percent of U.S. consumers now evaluating brands against leading companies such as Amazon, Uber and Netflix, which set performance standards that extend beyond traditional product categories.

“With expectations at an all-time high, brands are required to operate in consumer culture and not just within their own category,” says Jamie Gutfreund, global CMO of Wunderman. “It used to be that brands had the luxury of customers conforming to their business models, which worked for many years. But the tables have turned. Today, consumers expect businesses to adapt to their needs and our findings are consistent across all generations, geographies and genders.”

The study found that for 88 percent of consumers, being “at par” wasn’t enough to get them to consider a brand; the brand must “push boundaries.” Wunderman’s research also found that 90 percent of consumers believe mobile devices help them make better purchase decisions, 89 percent are loyal to brands that share their values and 74 percent  believe brands can set a new standard by how they serve customers, not just in offering a new product.

Wunderman’s full report can be found here.

filed under industry-news | january-2017
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