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BizReport : Ecommerce archives : September 25, 2017

Brand trust: Sweat the small stuff

The advent of social media has led to better informed consumers that are not afraid to act when the behavior of retailers and brands they purchase from leads to trust issues. However, while a bad social media experience can go viral and influence many consumers, existing customers have their own trust issues.

by Helen Leggatt

Bad news spreads fast, and the Internet has only served to speed up the process. None so much as within communities such as social media via which many consumer spending decisions are swayed.

The power of earned social media

And, let's not forget, while owned social media can increase brand awareness and customer satisfaction, it is what shoppers themselves say within social environments - earned social media - that is far more valuable, increasing the above two metrics and also influencing purchase intent.

Around half of shoppers find it difficult to know which brands or companies to trust*. So, when a brand does something a consumer is not comfortable with, whether that be the way they do business or a more specific product-based issue, around a third** will take action by ceasing to buy a product or abandoning a brand.

Why? Because 74% of shoppers say they want to feel good about the retailers and brands they use. They want their loyalty and well-earned cash to go to companies they trust (73%).

Sweat the small stuff

Therefore, a promotion that is not as good as it sounds, the drop in quality of a product without a drop in price, or a lack of honesty during periods of bad publicity, while not perhaps possessing the viral potential of the offensive Miracle Mattress ad last year, or the videoed inappropriate actions of United Airlines earlier this year, are just as likely to turn off shoppers

Millennials, in particular, need to be able to trust the brands and retailers they favor. This demographic forms emotional attachments to products, often attaching themselves to brand communities online, and to break that trust severs perhaps the strongest connection.

"When all else feels equal, such as price, range and accessibility, it can be the sense of connection, or not, that can lead a shopper to remain loyal to their usual brand/retailer," says Danielle Pinnington, Managing Director at Shoppercentric.

* DMA/Foresight Factory, 'Customer Engagement 2017'
** Shoppercentric "WindowON...", Issue 29, Sept. 2017.

Tags: brand marketing, consumer products, retail, social media

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