In a marketplace defined by increased transparency and decreased trust, instead of selling, brands must prove that they will commit to earning their customer's business. A new study commissioned by leading global agency Wunderman, and in partnership with Penn Schoen Berland, finds that 79% of consumers ages 18-65 in the US say brands must actively demonstrate that “they understand and care about me” before they consider purchasing. To succeed in this environment, brands need a new approach to consumer engagement identified by the research as “Wantedness.”
The agency used the platform of CES 2017 to define the concept of Wantedness as the degree to which a brand proves their commitment to earning a customer's business across every touchpoint and throughout the entire path to purchase. Traditionally marketers have primarily focused on developing consumer loyalty to their brands but the data shows that brands now need to demonstrate their commitment to serving the consumer and exceeding their expectations every day. In addition, the research also identified that the competitive landscape has changed with 87% of US consumers now evaluating brands against leading companies like Amazon, Uber and Netflix, which have effectively set new standards of excellence that extend beyond traditional product categories.
Jamie Gutfreund, Global CMO of Wunderman
Jamie Gutfreund, Global CMO of Wunderman, explains: “With expectations at an all-time high, brands are required to operate in consumer culture and not just within their own category. It used to be that brands had the luxury of customers conforming to their business models, which worked for many years. But the tables have turned. Today, consumers expect businesses to adapt to their needs and our findings are consistent across all generations, geographies and genders.”
The concept of Wantedness therefore requires a data-driven approach to understanding what consumers expect in order to drive engagement and sales. According to the research, brands today must do more than just provide a good quality product or service. Simply being “at par” is not enough; 88% of American respondents say that brands must “push boundaries” in order to be considered.
Other key findings from the study include:
90% of American consumers believe mobile empowers them to make better purchase decisions.
89% of American consumers say that they are loyal to brands that share their values.
74% of consumers in the US say that brands can set a new standard by how they serve customers (in other words they don’t have to just offer a new product).
88% of US consumers want to engage with brands that are setting new standards.