Study:majority Of People More Loyal To Brands That Care About Themut

Vodafone branding is seen on the side of a London taxi in London November 12, 2013. REUTERS/Toby Melville/File Photo - RTSJ54P

Put aside engagement, site visits, and app downloads for a second. Companies, instead, should focus on generating “wantedness,” according to a new study by Wunderman.

Here’s the context: Traditionally, loyalty has been measured based on consumers’ affinity to a particular brand. Wunderman’s study, “Wantedness,” reverses that concept, maintaining that brands must use data and technology to prove they care and can commit to earning their customers’ business. The notion of wantedness can be defined as the degree to which a brand demonstrates such a commitment across every consumer touch point.

“The big takeaway was how much people want brands to make them feel special,” said Jamie Gutfreund, global CMO at Wunderman. “The majority [79%] of consumers said that brands have to actually demonstrate that they understand and care about me before they are going to consider purchasing.”

With the huge amount of options today on where and how to buy, consumers are empowered to be choosier than ever, according to the study. In fact, consumers are no longer just measuring brands against their competitors. Eighty-seven percent said they measure all brands against a select few companies.

“Consumers are comparing all brands to the Amazons and the Ubers of the world because those experiences are so fantastic that they are setting consumer expectations for all of their interactions with marketers and brands,” Gutfreund said. “That is pretty significant because it reformulates the competitive set and also tells you that you need to have a different approach to your business, customer service, marketing, and messaging.”

The study found that 88% of U.S. consumers want to engage with brands that are setting new standards in meeting their expectations. Seventy-four percent said brands can do so by providing a higher level of customer service. In addition, 56% said they feel more loyal to brands who “get me” and show a deep understanding of their priorities and preferences. Additionally, 89% are loyal to brands that share their values.

Wunderman’s study also highlights the fact that convenience is critical. Nearly one-third (62%) of consumers believe the best brands succeed in making their lives easier. And that doesn’t just mean great products, either. The best brands exceed expectations across the entire customer journey, according to 63% of U.S. consumers.

“My advice to brands is get to know the consumer and adapt your messaging to deliver the information that the consumer wants,” Gutfreund said. “Consumers know that brands have all this data on them, and so they expect that companies will use it to build and deepen relationships. The second piece of advice is deliver for me, and that typically means making things friction-free. The third is keep winning me. That means switching from campaign mentality to 24/7. You’ve got to be there at every touch point.”

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Mareeg senior news editor since 2001 and he can be reached at news@mareeg.com