The claim that the face of the consumer is changing is nothing new. In actual fact, if you had to look at marketing research over the past 50 years, the theme of how consumers’ wants, needs and demands have changed is likely to be a constant. With every generation there is a shift and as technology advances, this shift becomes more apparent and certainly more challenging with purpose-led marketing.
Today, brand strategy resembles popular music in the 1960s: “The times they are a-changin’.” At the moment, consumers now go from brand to brand, product to product as well as website to website at a flick of their wrists. At exactly the same time, brand relevance continues to be high. Brands are beacons of trust. The more choices which consumers have, the more important these signals become.
Our research shows that brand relevance and purpose-led marketing are particularly high in categories which offer nearly unlimited choice, such as online dating, online shopping as well as online travel booking.
For online consumers, risk reduction is the most significant brand function by far, well ahead of image benefit as well as information efficiency. A strong brand emits trust and shields shoppers from the risk of making the incorrect choice. That said, data and analytics are changing the way brands and customers interact with each other. In this situation, it’s high time to update the proven principles of brand strategy. It’s time for brand strategy and purpose-led marketing to go electric.
Companies Are Under The Spotlight – Like Never Before
This is as they struggle for competitive advantage in the context of their reality. Their customers aren’t merely making decisions based on the supporters of product selection or price. They’re now assessing what a brand says. What the brand does as well as what it stands for.
Accenture Strategy’s most recent worldwide survey of nearly 30 000 consumers found that 62% of customers would like companies to take a stand on current and broadly relevant issues like sustainability, transparency or fair employment practices. The closer a company’s purpose aligns with their own beliefs, the better.
Greater than half (53%) of consumers who are frustrated with a brand’s words or actions on a social issue complain about it. That’s not surprising. Customers have constantly complained. What’s different now is that 47% walk away in frustration, with 17% not coming back. Ever.
Today’s Consumer Does Not Care About Boardroom Objectives
They are wise to overt brand promotion and want to be reached on an emotional level. This is where “marketing with heart” and a purpose-led business strategy come in, as many of the stats around this highlight. Simply put, if brands have the power to affect social change, they should! It’s what people can get behind in a crowded marketing space and it is what the current and future market demands.
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