Brands face a perfect storm. Consumers today have unprecedented levels of knowledge and choice at their fingertips, are sick of living in a polarized world and are demanding a revolution. They want their lives to be easier, they want their needs met, they want brands to use technology responsibly, they want less division and more unity and they crave deeper connections — and they expect brands to deliver all of this now.
Brands have never had more power or opportunity to act with bold purpose, and they’ve never been more vulnerable or replaceable. How they do what they do matters more than ever.
WE’s Brands in Motion 2019 study finds consumers are demanding that brands move toward a more emotional space. Last year, the study showed that the rational drivers outpaced the emotional lift. This year, we saw rational remain flat with emotional taking a slight increase (3% emotional average increase), closing the gap. The new brand loyalty is driven by more than product or customer service — it’s driven by a shared understanding of humanity and respect. To survive, brands must be human to the core.
This year, we covered three top themes:
- With greater choice and knowledge at their fingertips, consumers are more empowered than ever to make demands of brands.
- Since the Brands in Motion survey’s inception, not a single global consumer expectation has decreased.
- Today’s consumers aren’t just thinking about themselves when they buy something, they are thinking bigger than themselves.
TECH EXPECTATIONS AND ACCOUNTABILITY
- This year’s study delved deeper into consumer expectations when it comes to technology. It showed that consumer expectations are high and at times nuanced —people want technology to improve their lives but not at any cost.
- Regardless of their age or gender, people want innovations to simplify or improve their lives, but are hyperaware of the trade-offs that can come with their productivity boosts.
- The ethics of technology also remain front and centre with 97% agreeing that companies are responsible for using technology ethically, and 92% saying they would stop using a product or service if it was using consumer data unethically.
- New this year was a call for collective accountability, where consumers acknowledged that it’s not just up to brands and the government.
- 96% say they, too, have a role to play in ethical responsibility.
THE NEW BRAND LOYALTY: HUMAN TO THE CORE
- To address consumer demands, brands must rethink the underlying drivers of loyalty and affinity for their brand. That means leading with purpose, building new levels of trust and respect with customers, and creating more meaningful impact in the way a brand operates globally and locally.
- Redefining this new version of brand loyalty requires brands to show they are human to the core.
- For consumers, that means creating tangible impact.
- 54% say they want the brands they support to balance great product with powerful purpose and activism.
- 53% want brands to address environmental problems in both local communities and at a global level.
- From the study, it’s clear there is a growing expectation and clear opportunity for brands to bring greater stability to what has become an increasingly polarized world.
- 83% of global survey respondents say they believe brands could play a role in providing stability.
- 74% say they expect brands to take a stand on important issues.
To read this year’s Brands in Motion report in full, please visit https://www.we-worldwide.com/brands-in-motion and download the whitepaper.