The birth and adoption of the internet has turned the world on it’s head, it’s driven radical innovation, formed new attitudes and shifted consumer behaviours and expectations. We live thanks to the internet in the information age, we can learn nearly anything, we can source nearly anything and we can talk to nearly anyone affecting the way that people consume and the services they use.
Over the last decade consumers are feeling overwhelmed by choice, they are concerned about their financial stability and they distrust institutions ranging from governments to brands. This has created a new group, agnostic consumers - agnostic, a person who holds neither of two opposing positions on a topic - are today’s paradoxical user, viewer and shopper.
Euromonitor Consumer Trends Editor, Daphne Kasriel-Alexander states “Agnostic consumers flit between shops and products in search for value and novelty, presenting a challenge for brands who want to connect with them or inspire their loyalty”.
Another significant driver of forming this new group of agnostics is omni brands, publishers and retailers. Amazon is a prime example of a brand which has become everything to everyone and has 304 Million customers (Statistica, 2016); retailer, publisher and entertainer, Amazon own the entire consumer experience. They give and allow customers to compare and rate at their disposal and due to this consumers have become less bothered about labels and recognised brands and so has remove other brands relationship with the consumer and so reduced loyalty.
So how do brands re-engage with these consumers and gain back their loyalty? The key to success after making a good product, service or piece of content is a creating a trifecta; 1. Inspiring experiences, 2. Cloud communities and 3. Straightforward interactions.
- Inspiring experiences doesn’t mean a multi-roomed sensorial exhibition space, but the goal for all brands should be to create surprise and delight for consumers at every touchpoint.
- Cloud communities give consumers spaces to connect with like-minded individuals, this is essential for brands to create a cult status.
- Straightforward interactions save consumers their most valuable commodity; time, frictionless use, service or purchase is treasured by consumers.
If the trifecta is strong then loyalty is guaranteed as consumers have holistic added value. Glossier, an online-only beauty startup with a fanatical following is a great example of the above in principle in play. The brands sister blog, Into the Gloss utilises storytelling to inspire consumers, it also greatly helps that the packaging is Instagram post worthy. The brand uses social media to engage first hand with consumers and encourages them to connect between themselves, consumers can face time the customer service team for help. Finally their beauty kits takes the complexity, which is the mind field of beauty regimes away, creating a two phase system of skincare and makeup and streamlines the purchasing process.
With omni power houses only set to expand into more area’s traditional brands need to up their game, begin to fight back and rebuild relationships with their consumers. Perhaps they could be bold and remove themselves from other retailer stores, streaming service or media outlets, forcing consumers to go direct to them. Perhaps they can work with omni brands to have more control over the experience of their brand in others spaces. The answer won’t be simple but agnostic consumers can be converted they just need to be treated to the trifecta.