Two new studies have highlighted ongoing challenges for businesses as consumer trust dwindles and brand loyalty becomes a thing of the past.
New independent research, The Truth Report 2018: The trouble with Real People conducted by strategic marketing and advertising agency FKC, reveals that 51% of consumers are unable to identify a favourite brand at all and 74% often feel confused by brand advertising and messaging.
FKC polled 2,032 people and found that tour operators (41%), department stores (35%), shopping centres (32%), car brands (34%) and casual dining (33%) were all highlighted as sectors with poor consumer loyalty. Of those that could name a favourite brand, Amazon came top of the loyalty league, followed by Tesco and Asda.
Stephen Fox, chairman at FKC, said: "Our research has shown that the heady, halcyon days of unquestioning consumer loyalty are long gone. The sea of consumer choice has diluted customer commitment to brands."
A critical issue is the way that businesses use customer data. Overall, 84% of consumers say they're more likely to trust a company with their personal information if the company can explain how it will provide a better customer experience. This is especially important to millennials and Gen Zers (with 91% agreeing), compared to 78% for baby boomers and traditionalists.
The survey also shows, however, that consumers prefer data-driven, targeted communications. Over half (54%) of customers say the marketing messages they receive aren't as relevant as they would like them to be; and 53% say they expect the offers they receive from businesses to be personalised. In addition, 84% say being treated like a person - not a number - is very important to winning their business.
Those brands that do win the trust of consumers have a significant advantage - 95% of customers are more likely to be loyal to a company they trust, 93% are more likely to recommend a company they trust and 92% are more likely to purchase additional products and services from trusted businesses.