In pursuit of personalisation, many brands have lost some of their power to shape consumer demand. And in trying to meet every individual need, they’ve often diluted their own identity.
This short paper, developed in collaboration with Longitude (a Financial Times company) and drawing on interviews with industry experts, finds that many bold brands are now reasserting themselves, deepening consumer relationships across five key dimensions.
Consumers chart their own course The singular customer journey— awareness to consideration to loyalty— has been upended. In its place? A mix of peer endorsements and never-ending feedback loops. “The way that we consume media, and the media that we consume, has changed what was a linear relationship to what feels like a series of waves,” says Kate McCutchen, Head of UK Marketing at payments company Square. “You have loops that circle back on themselves and it never really ends; you’re constantly giving feedback to brands, searching for what’s better.”
With this new relationship, marketing itself has fallen for a short-form approach. “Marketers are afraid that, if they don’t sell everything about the product at one moment, they’re going to miss out,” McCutchen says. “It becomes harder to trust long-form storytelling that builds campaigns and that will take time to pay off.”
Amid these short but ever-rolling waves, consumers are charting their own course to brands, enabled by the unparalleled access to information and multiple channels that digital technologies have helped generate.
Indeed, a great number of CMOs now believe that the majority of interactions with a brand are initiated by consumers and not by their own marketing (see Figure 1). Consumers are calling the shots and choosing to engage with brands on their own terms.
Download the report here.