Brands have it harder than ever with the new generations of consumers because they have no brand loyalty, are impossible to satisfy and have the attention span of a fish.
Well, not quite…
There are a lot of things to say about the new consumers, and the matter of fact is that they have changed, but studies show that this is more a consequence of the ever-changing market. Technology plays a huge role in the dynamics of every market and the evolution of marketing in general. The rules of engagement have completely changed and the power of the community is the new marketing reality.
If you combine the ease of access to information with the fact that consumers are more educated than ever before it’s easy to understand why they don’t respond to the same strategies. Consumers require more from brands because they know what’s possible and understand their own value. The purchase decision is not taken lightly and brands need to create complex interactions to ensure it. Studies show that consumers actually value brand experience more than the actual product. It’s a new perspective for companies as they need to build stronger and stronger brands.
The new consumers need to feel connected to the brands they select on more than one spectrum, they need meaning and a shared set of values. Brand values, things that before were considered a commodity are now being brought in the forefront of brand communication as one of the most important assets for creating a connection. Suddenly, brands need to focus more on what they stand for, on what drives them and on how they impact the world. The new self-conscious consumer wants to feel represented.
Access to the internet and technology has created new communities and new ways of interacting. It’s easier than ever for brands to find their consumers, but at the same time, they are more exposed and fragile in the face of public scrutiny. Actually, studies show that online communities have reshaped marketing altogether. The power of public opinions is highly influential and opinions are more public than ever. In this context, consumers find it easy to base their purchasing decisions on reviews, on common knowledge and on user-generated content.
But all this change has made consumers more focused on value, they actually care more than ever.
They associate with brands because it says something about them, not because the product solves a problem. They read labels, reviews and try to find deeper connections with the brands they engage with. This is a great opportunity for brands to build a better journey for themselves and for the consumer. It’s not just about the product anymore, although it remains crucial, it’s about creating something bigger, about being true to a set of values and being responsible. Genuinity has never been of such value and has never been such a determining factor in the life of a brand.
The hard to satisfy consumers have actually improved the market and the ever-changing market has changed the consumers. As a brand, you have all the tools to listen to your audience and open up a dialogue that is beneficial for both parties. You simply need to find the way to open yourself up and be vulnerable, this is what being genuine is all about. Maybe, just maybe it’s never been about changes, but about choices.