New research released today reveals what makes Britons break up with brands, views on how brands are acting in response to inflation and the ways high-profile controversies affect consumer behaviour.
Attest, a consumer research platform, finds that inflation is making a majority of Brits reconsider long-held brand loyalty, with nine in 10 (92 per cent) saying they are now willing to try different products and services due to price pressures.
- Cigarettes & alcohol have the highest brand loyalty: When asked what type of product they are most likely to switch brands to save money, alcohol and tobacco (at 11 per cent) ranked lowest out of all categories, highlighting the brand loyalty such products have with the British public. Conversely, grocery brands top the poll with 73 per cent of consumers willing to switch, followed by clothing/shoes (38 per cent) and energy (34 per cent).
- A majority think brands are price gouging due to inflation: The vast majority of shoppers (at 79 per cent) feel that brands are involved in “greedflation”. Of this majority, 71 per cent believe “more needs to be done” to protect consumers and stop brands from benefiting from this practice.
- Consumers feel food & energy companies lifted prices the most: When quizzed on what types of products have experienced the most rapid rises in their opinion, groceries (at 65 per cent) and energy (62 per cent) are the most cited, with travel (28 per cent) far behind.
Consumers are divided over the number one reason they would stop buying a brand’s product/service. Price increases and having a “negative experience” with a brand are in joint top spot (both at 30 per cent), followed by bad customer service (18 per cent).
When brands do bad, consumers want transparency – The research identifies another factor alongside inflation that is diminishing brand loyalty: public controversy.
In this environment, brands are under even more pressure to avoid PR, advertising and product disasters. But, if a blunder does arise, the research also delves into consumers’ views on companies caught up in high-profile controversies and how they can set the record straight:
People are split on how to respond:
The most likely response from Britons is to boycott/stop buying a brand’s products and services “immediately”, with a third (33 per cent) favouring this approach. By contrast, however, 30 per cent are much more forgiving and are willing to give a brand time to issue a statement before making up their mind. While social media plays a key role for 19 per cent of people, who will either unfollow a brand or publish public posts disapproving of a company involved in a controversy.
- Brits most concerned by brand racism and treatment of animals: An accusation of racism when a brand is involved in a controversy is the top issue that concerns the public (at 42 per cent).
- This is followed by accusations of poor treatment of animals (38 per cent), bad treatment of employees (35 per cent), discrimination (based on people with disabilities, religion, and sexual orientation, at 33 per cent), sexism (24 per cent) and “greenwashing” (22 per cent).
- A combined 20 per cent of Britons are concerned with brands involved in political controversies:
- 11 per cent express concern if a brand was accused of right-wing, socially conservative politics.
- While 9 per cent would feel the same way regarding accusations of left-wing, socially liberal politics.
Consumers value transparency the most during a controversy: A majority of Britons 54 per cent) want a brand involved in a high-profile controversy to provide full transparency and steps on how they will fix it.
- 51 per cent will be happy with the issuance of a public apology alone.
- Other remedies favoured by people include removing the person responsible (33 per cent), offering a discount/refund (27 per cent) and providing services to lodge complaints (20 per cent).
To coincide with the release of this research, Attest is launching a campaign urging brands to finally remove guesswork and gut decisions from their marketing playbook for good.