DO MODERN CONSUMERS CARE MORE ABOUT BRAND OR CONVENIENCE?

adult-computer-connection-1181265.jpg

Marketing products and services to consumers have never been easy. For modern businesses, marketers, and entrepreneurs, it’s impossible to say if marketing to consumers in the 21st century is more difficult than in the past. But one thing is for sure - it’s more complicated.
 
Modern consumers care about a lot of things when it comes to choosing a product or service - efficacy, price, perceived value, brand story, and more. But what has really changed the rules of the marketing game is what’s known as The Amazon Factor. With the rise of the on-demand, store-for-everything, do modern consumers care more about brand or convenience?

adult-agreement-beard-541522.jpg

The Amazon store model gives consumers convenience on steroids.
In the not-so-distant past, convenience for consumers meant the grocery store was within a reasonable walking distance. Or, they could have their items shipped and delivered to them within a couple of weeks. As far as selection went, a convenient selection for our grandparents meant there were three types of coffee to choose from instead of a single brand. One of which was merely, “decaf.”
 
Amazon and similar stores have completely turned the concept of consumer convenience on its head, and have pumped it full of steroids. The genie is out of the bottle, and there is no going back to the good old days of the “convenient” small town grocer.

black-friday-brown-from-above-5956.jpg

Consumers are driven by a different set of expectations for the businesses they choose to support. Because of retail giants like Amazon, consumers want access to a variety of products, and they want to purchase it right now. But that’s not all. They want those products delivered to their door within two days. In some cases, even two days is not fast enough, and it’s one of the reasons why billion dollar businesses are experimenting with drone delivery.
 
On top of fast, convenient delivery, younger consumers who came of age with the rise in online shopping prefer to have a product delivered if cost and availability are comparable to getting in a car and driving to their shopping destination.
 
Having a reputable brand with a humanizing story isn’t enough for modern consumers. Consumers want online, quick access to a brands catalog of products and services.

adult-bags-beautiful-919453.jpg

Younger consumers are less likely to purchase from rigid verticals. Consumer reports from 2017 and 2018 have found that:

  • Consumers prefer fast, simple, and efficient retail processes.

  • Consumers who shop both online and offline visit a store to purchase something specific.

  • Casual browsing, both offline and online, is less likely to happen in the digital era.

  • 73% of shoppers say they visit both online and offline stores with a specific item for purchase in mind.

  • 58% of surveyed customers cite having the ability to find what they want quickly and efficiently as the most critical factor in determining where they shop.

  • 44% of consumers say that the second most important factor for shopping is a company’s customer service.

What’s the bottom line?
Consumers, especially Millennial and Gen Z consumers, care more about convenience than brand. Businesses will have to give consumers convenient, flexible shopping experiences to remain competitive. This doesn't mean forget about your brand, it just means there's a shift in priority and you need to recognize it... NOW!

HOW WE'RE HELPING PEPSICO "CLOSE THE CROP GAP"

Every year we find ourselves getting involved with a purpose-driven initiative that warms our hearts. This year we worked with PepsiCo to introduce a campaign to create awareness about issues facing women in Agriculture. This digital-first storytelling initiative called “Closing The Crop Gap” takes you along the crop gap journey to see how we are working to solve it, with an innovative approach.

The Crop Gap is representative of the unequal access women face in agriculture-dependent economies. Women small-scale producers play a vital role in global food production, yet they struggle to secure land titles, have limited access to agricultural extension services, and rarely attain the tools and information they need to improve crop production.

Through PepsiCo’s partnership with CARE they're investing in women small-scale producers to give them access to the resources, support, information, skills andconfidence they need to invest in their farms, families and communities. As a result, women boost production, generate income to send their children to school, feed their families more nutritious meals, expand their business to employ others and build savings to help through tough times.

Through this campaign, we hope to create awareness about The Crop Gap and inspire people to get involved. 

So, please feel free to take a tour through the website we created, "meet" the filmmakers who are capturing these women's stories, and get involved if so inclined.

WHY PSYCHOGRAPHICS MATTER MORE THAN DEMOGRAPHICS

They say that demographics are everything. And while it’s true that knowing the demographics of your audience can significantly influence your marketing plans and their overall success, emotions matter more when it comes to sales and conversions. In today’s world of branding, marketing, and advertising, demographics don’t matter nearly as much as knowing the customer’s emotional mindset -- trust me.
 
The target audience’s physical location, their age, educational level, or other staples of their demographic statistics are less important to marketing success than speaking to the customer’s values, what matters most to them, and how your product or service can meet that emotional need. 
 
Why is psychographics more important in today’s world than demographics?
Throughout history, compiling demographics has been much easier than getting into a customer’s head and understanding what drives them to make a purchase. It’s easy, simple, and straightforward to know where a customer lives, how old they are, or what their family situation looks like that could influence their buying decisions.
 
While demographics are comprised of the dry facts of your audience’s data, psychographics can shed light on what inspires your customers to buy your product or service. In many cases, your audience may have little in common with each other's demographic data points. This is one of the most compelling reasons why marketers need to understand their audience’s psychographics because demographic data is very limited for helping marketers position their brand.
 
Today, it’s essential for marketers to figure out what the customer’s emotional mindset is, or the “why” behind why they buy. In other words, their psychographics.

  • What goes through their minds?

  • What is their buying behavior like?

  • Do they plan on making purchases, or are they more likely to impulse buy?

  • When the customer is searching for a product or service like yours, are they feeling confident, or are they in a state of frenzy or panic?

  • How does that mindset influence how they shop for and buy your product?

These types of questions and their answers are crucial for marketers to know and understand for greater advertising and brand success. Knowing what values your customers focus on, and their emotions and affinities are what marketers need to realize for optimal positioning of their brand.
 
How can you find out what your audience’s psychographics are?
There are a couple of things marketers can do to understand their customers’ psychographics.

  1. Interview your existing loyal customers: You can do this either one-on-one with a repeat client, or send out a survey or questionnaire to your mailing list. Ask your customers what their goals are, what motivates them, and what their shopping habits are to get a better idea of their psychographics.

  2. Delve into your website analytics: If you prefer a less hands-on approach, combing through your website analytics can give you insight into what previous offers you’ve made that motivated people to buy, click, or share.

With a survey or interview, sometimes the client doesn’t truly know what motivates them. But looking over your website analytics can show you exactly what actions your customers take. Your customers may say they aren't bargain shoppers, but if your discount codes have really driven sales in the past, then actions speak louder than words.
 
Hitting the right emotional and cultural notes with your audience will ensure that the tone of your content aligns with their values and motivations. While it’s still important to have a firm grasp of your audience demographics, psychographics will enable you to differentiate your brand. Speaking to your customer’s emotions will make your brand more memorable, and inspire greater customer loyalty.

Finito.

WHAT ARE YOU REALLY SELLING?

Human beings have an attention span that is one second less than your average goldfish’s. In today’s interconnected and digital world, consumers are under a constant barrage of advertisements. Sometimes, they don’t even realize that what they are seeing is an ad, especially if it's carefully disguised as a narrative blog post. So, what can you do to increase your sales, and turn cold or warm leads into paying, loyal customers?
 
First off, you must know what you're selling, and it’s not the features you’re selling, but the benefits of your offering and why your brand exists to add value. For instance...

Starbucks does not sell coffee that comes in any flavor you could want. Starbucks sells a community. And what are the benefits of a community? It fosters connection, camaraderie, and the benefit of being seen and heard as part of a group of like-minded coffee-lovers.
 
Disney does not sell entertainment. They sell magic and unforgettable experiences. Sure, they sell movies and toys to entertain. But so do thousands of other companies. What is it that makes Disney’s toys and movies so special? The brand is positioned to sell magic and enable customers to create new, cherished memories with their loved ones.
 
So, what is it that you’re selling?
Factual statements don’t compel someone to buy. The benefits do. Why does your product exist, and what value does its existence add to the customer’s experience?
 
It’s the customer’s emotions that drive them to make a purchase. While listing factual information is important so the customer knows how the product or service operates, that’s not what gets them to convert.
 
What are some examples of features versus benefits?
You want to communicate to your audience what the more profound, emotional benefits are that you’re selling, and position your brand to connect with them through those benefits, for example:

  • Accessibility vs 24-hour limo service 

  • Convenience vs One-click buy 

  • Trustworthiness vs Doing business since 1950

Once you understand what the benefits are, you can begin to craft content around those benefits that utilize a narrative structure that hits those emotional notes for your target audience. The latest and the most fabulous features don’t mean much to your customer unless those features translate into benefits that bring them a specific value. What you’re selling needs to answer these vital questions for the customer:

  • What’s in it for me?

  • Will this improve my current situation?

  • Will the product or service make me happier, healthier, smarter, or richer?

Understanding your target audience’s demographics can certainly help you figure out what your offering’s most relevant features are that you want to list. However, knowing the psychographics of your customer, as in what motivates them or what gives them value, can help you position your brand’s benefits and the reason why it exists to serve the customer. Doing this will enable you to move whatever product or service it is that you’re selling.
 
For better conversions and increased customer loyalty, know exactly what you’re selling, and communicate how it benefits your target customer on an emotional level.

The end.