It’s fair to say modern consumers don’t have a lot of trust in major corporations. In fact, just 6% of Brits trust brands today, according to a study from marketing consultancy Rare.
However, incorporating a culture of positivity into the core of a business could be a way to remedy this distrust and engender loyalty. The research found that low quality (cited by 58% of survey respondents) and bad customer service (51%) are the top two reasons people lose trust in a brand. Yet these are negative experiences that can be turned into positive ones if companies start from within by investing in and training their employees.
Making a positive difference to consumers’ lives
The ways to make a positive difference in consumers’ lives and engender loyalty vary by demographic. Yet, the Rare research shows that the biggest driver of happiness among consumers is health, and its importance increases with age, according to the survey of more than 2,000 consumers.
Millennials (80%), Generation X (86%) and baby boomers (87%) each place it as the number one driver, while for Generation K (those born between 1995 and 2002) it is the second most important behind fun and enjoyment (80%).
Marketers should therefore look to tap into these drivers. Rare suggests they can do this by considering its five pillars of loyalty. These are:
- See things through a positive lens: Happiness is crucial to people’s wellbeing, sense of self and feeling towards brands, the report states. It suggests organisations that help customers achieve emotional wellbeing will be in a better position to build long-term bonds.
- Understand the bigger picture: Marketers need to understand that everything a consumer does – from browsing a website to buying a drink – is part of a long-term life agenda so brands’ marketing activity should be aligned with this.
- Create opportunities to help people achieve: In uncertain times consumers look for guidance, so marketers can encourage engagement by strengthening social bonds online or helping people celebrate important life moments.
- Get to know the nuances: People of all ages have things in common to help achieve happiness but they may not all take the same route to get there. Marketers should therefore look to personalise content enabling them to connect on an individual basis.
- Positive marketing starts from within: In order to make customers happy business leaders must start by empowering employees. Happier employees become positive brand advocates which in turn impacts how customers view the business.
Yet the solution for each brand will vary. Rare’s founder Ben Pask says he is concerned that only one in three UK brands currently carries out customer research. Subsequently, he believes many are trying to make their customers happy in the wrong ways.
“How can you create a business based around consumer needs if you don’t even know what they are and refuse to do any research?” he asks.
Starting from within
For Innocent, it’s the fifth pillar that marketers should take most note of. “Naturally, if you build a great internal culture, it gets talked about externally and becomes part of your story; part of the marketing,” head of brand Dan Germain tells Marketing Week.
“Ultimately, if you’re ‘doing’ culture well, and with a common purpose at its heart,…