Consumers are volatile – brand loyalty is dead. That’s just one of the four consumer realities facing brands today. Gone are the days when the same products would line our cupboard week in week out because they ‘did the job.’ As our expectations have risen, our tolerance has fallen.
Today, we want brands that constantly innovate, demonstrate active positions on social uses and offer us an unforgettable customer experience time after time.
Demanding? Us? Yes. And for good reason, we want brands who stand out from the crowd because they shift focus from their bottom line to how their services and products directly affect us, the consumer.
WE Communications’ recent Brands in Motion study discovered there are four realities that brands must get on board with – stat – if they want to survive.
- Stability is an element of motion: Brands able to demonstrate that they are genuinely in it for more than profit provide stability during periods of uncertainty. When Trump announced his controversial travel ban on six Muslim-majority countries, Microsoft responded by asking U.S. officials to grant exceptions to visa-holding workers and students, turning outrage into a proposed solution.
- Cutting-edge is transcendent: Amazon’s recent purchase of Wholefoods is exemplary of cutting-edge. It demonstrates the power of online in a bricks-and-mortar world, and spells trouble for competitors as it gives the e-commerce giant the capacity to offer extremely low prices.
- The Unilever Effect: Brands must be able to balance product quality with an agenda of social good. Stella Artois has done just this, by partnering with Water.org to bring clean drinking water to 663 million people in the world without it. For every limited edition chalice bought from the website, five years of clean water is provided for a person in the developing world.
- Love you today, shame you tomorrow: 90% of people in our survey said that they’d happily shame a brand if it stepped out of line. Uber, Pepsi and Samsung are prime examples of this – big-name behemoths that have fallen from grace in recent months. After (a miniscule amount of) Samsung Note 7s began exploding at the end of 2016, it caused so much controversy that other faulty phones continue to be erroneously reported as Note 7s.
So, how do you avoid being bitten? Brands need to be comfortable influencing the forces surrounding it, and must now understand and manage these realities if they want to control their brand motion.
There is no reason to fear the influence and forces on your brand – it’s time embrace and take hold of these realities before they bite you.