As you might have guessed from many of the posts here on the screed, how brands should behave in today’s marketing climate is a big focus of mine. That focus is due to the questions I get asked by my clients on a regular basis both with respect to media and technology. Which is why I found a recently released study by the folks at Edelman so interesting.
Called brandshare (they used the lower case, it’s not a typo!), the study sampled 11,000 consumers in the U.S., UK, Canada, France, Germany, Brazil, India and China, and evaluated approximately 212 local and multi-national brands. You can see a slide deck on the study here. It found that an overwhelming majority (90 percent) of people across eight countries want marketers to more effectively share their brands. Yet on average, only 10 percent of people think any given brand does it well. As you know, I believe any time we see gaps between expressed consumer desire and actual brand performance, there’s an opportunity.
So what exactly did they mean by “sharing?” The study measured six dimensions of sharing – shared dialog, shared experience, shared goals, shared values, shared product and shared history – and found a link between effective brand sharing and business value; the greatest business value coming from shared product and shared values. Obviously it’s not just companies asking for retweets and Facebook shares!
A large majority (91 percent) of respondents said they want to have a hand in the design and development process, with that desire being equal among those in developed and emerging markets. People also want complete openness about product performance with nine out of 10 wanting to know how they are made and how they should perform against competitors. We’ve talked about transparency before but this demonstrates the extent to which consumers have come to expect it.
Of the six sharing dimensions, shared values has the highest unmet demand among people. More than nine in 10 (92 percent) respondents want to do business with brands that share their beliefs. In addition, nearly half of the respondents (47 percent) want brands to be more transparent about how products are sourced and manufactured, just over four in 10 (43 percent) want brands to do more to give back to their communities.
I think this quote sums it up nicely:
“Marketers must evolve from a traditional linear model of focus groups that ends with the consumer to one that involves people at every stage. Brands must also synchronize their brand marketing and corporate communications narrative into one cohesive message, while redesigning current engagement channels to incorporate higher-value sharing.”
So now that you know it, what are you going to do about it?