A recent MediaPost article discussed a new study by Ford Motor Company about the current state of consumer optimism as we head into 2013. The study, presented by Sheryl Connelly, the global consumer trends and futuring analyst at Ford Motor, at Thursday’s Ford-sponsored New York conference on 2013 consumer trends, revealed that optimism is growing, especially in the 20-30 year old demographic. At a panel discussion, it was discussed that people are tired of brands not behaving in the best interest of the consumer. A big issue is trust, and as trust increases so does brand equity. Consumers want a reason to believe in brands and brands must live up to those promises. This is an opportunity for companies to tell consumers ” we are here for you” and then back it up with their actions. According to the article, “To achieve trust equity functionally, the “front” of a company — its brand, communications, what it claims to be — must match the back, the invisible side, where it does what it actually does. The issue, noted Connelly, isn’t that a company can’t make mistakes, but that if it does, it needs to be straight about what went wrong, and if it doesn’t know what went wrong, it should say that too. “People want sincerity. The assumption is it’s never perfect, but you are supposed to make good.” (MediaPost, 2012). Connelly follows up stating ”Consumers’ tolerance for imperfection is correlated to what’s in it for them.”
What does this mean for you? It means that your radio advertising, social media marketing, and every other marketing touch point must be backed up with meaningful action. Talk is cheap. Show consumers that you really value them.