Knowing what prompts a customer to buy from a business is at the heart of any successful marketing strategy. A recent report from Feefo found that an important factor in a customer’s decision-making process was brand values. He found that 74% of all customers consider a company’s brand values before purchasing its products.
The customer reviews platform surveyed 2,000 people and pointed out that customers are paying more and more attention to business behavior. In fact, he’s found that customers are now willing to leave businesses if they don’t like what they see.
This shows that customers have the confidence that they can find what they need elsewhere. Thus, a company’s branding is therefore a means of differentiating itself from its competitors, as well as encouraging the repetition of custom, which is the key to the success of a business.
Feefo Marketing Director Keith Povey says:
“It has been an incredibly volatile year for businesses, which has seen a dramatic shift in consumer behavior, some aspects of which will have a lasting effect on the way shoppers think, act and spend. That said, our research shows that for companies that are agile and realign their marketing strategies, there are plenty of opportunities to improve brand awareness, perception, and loyalty.
“Those who react and act in the medium to long term will see greater returns over the next few years than those who see this period as nothing more than a decline, due to external circumstances. “
What do consumers care about?
With this in mind, it’s crucial to understand what affects a brand and what customers increasingly demand from the companies they purchase products from. The report found that important factors considered by consumers include:
- Brands passionate about the products or services they sell (34%).
- Ethics of sustainable development (33%).
- Transparency (33%).
The report goes on to claim that brands are able to influence a customer’s decision making by leading the narrative between them. This means offering more choice so that they can make an informed choice – thus, choosing between buying imported or locally produced products, for example.
While this choice has always been a possibility (by buying elsewhere), if a brand offers it, they are more likely to acquire customers. Customers shy away from having to shop elsewhere due to the disruption of routine and increased effort required.
Vic Heyward, Head of Marketing and Brand Communications at Bright, also highlights why knowing what affects a brand is so vital.
“Understanding what your brand really stands for should be the motivation behind your primary focus, and the brand’s values should authentically echo that. What’s the point of having a set of values that you never live, or worse, never look again?
“This new focus on brand responsibility for sustainable initiatives may seem intimidating to some, especially if you are not at the forefront of an environmental revolution. For brands like this, taking a step back to think about your brand’s purpose, code of ethics or CSR policy can be a rewarding experience and a way to engage prospects and employees more.
Ways to promote a brand
With brand responsibility in mind, in what ways can a business authentically promote its brand? Gathering great reviews online is one method businesses can use to influence customer decision making.
The report found that 55% of consumers are influenced by such reviews. In addition, having a good digital experience through a professional and transparent website is essential. 38% of customers are more likely to buy from a brand that offers this.
On the other hand, the report also highlighted what can be a barrier to promoting a positive image for a brand. The main detractors of a brand are:
- Slow response to inquiries (29%).
- Spam Marketing (29%).
- Annoying advertising (23%).
By minimizing these instances and dramatically improving a customer’s digital online experience, it appears businesses can dramatically improve their success rate. Damien Fisher of the Fishtank Agency suggests ways to do this:
“Graphic real estate and call-to-action touchpoints are crucial to the customer journey and ultimately deliver results. The product is good and the price is attractive, so what will take the consumer beyond the line?
“When selling online, everyone is time sensitive and with cybercrime at an all-time high, visible trust recognition metrics, such as Feefo, are key validators of consumer perception and loyalty. Having chatbots visible 24/7 to answer all consumer questions without switching between pages, as well as trigger points, such as emails / sales numbers, helps build buyer confidence as it suggests that the online retailer is happy to take calls and appreciates customer satisfaction. “
Interestingly, brands aren’t often bolstered by celebrity support. Only 12% said that if they liked a celebrity influencer, it created a positive outlook for them. At a time when so much money is being invested in influencer marketing, which is now estimated at $ 5.5 billion and will grow to $ 22.3 billion by 2023 according to Markets and Markets (2019), this can be of concern to many social marketers. However, Amplify’s Jonathan Emmins believes this creates a great opportunity.
“Deprived of their political rights, neglected by celebrities and questioning the ethics of brands, consumers are looking for heroes who share and defend their values. This presents both an opportunity and a threat to brands, as spending is an area where the public knows they can influence. Before the pandemic, this trend was already on the rise, especially among young consumers.
“Amplify New blood research targeting 18-35 year olds highlighted a paradox where the passion and stance of young people on sustainability meant that they aspired to buy Finisterre or Patagonia, even though at this early stage in life they could not afford that Primark or BooHoo. We have yet to see if this is a temporary change or more permanent, but in the face of the global challenge of the pandemic, consumers are more empathetic, aware of their impact on the world and open to change. “
His interesting comments reflect other important findings of the report. Statistics in the report show that customers have strong opinions about how businesses should behave. 57% of respondents admitted that they believe companies should be socially and environmentally responsible.
The report therefore concludes that customers increasingly demand “transparent, trustworthy and socially responsible” companies. As a result, companies need to spend time investing in their brand to ensure it conveys its purpose. This will help build a strong customer relationship which will result in more repeat customer sales.
Povey concludes: “The report clearly underscores the need and opportunity for brands to invest more in defining who they are, what they believe in and how they function. Communicating effectively this demonstrates how, by branding business, customers will support a transparent, trustworthy and socially responsible business. In other words, it’s imperative to invest in building a brand with a purpose.
Interesting related article: “What is brand management?” “