Research Reveals Consumers Expect the Same From Brands as They do From Friends

brands friends

As if it’s not hard enough creating content that cuts through the noise in an oversaturated market, the challenge is ramped up by the reams of conflicting advice you can encounter online. Whether you’re being told how to sell to Millennials, what it is that Gen Z really want or being reminded not to forget the Boomers, it’s enough to make a marketer’s head spin off into another dimension. So, it’s always a consolation when, floating among the debris, we find a nice bit of research to cling to and help inform our strategy.

This week I discovered that consumers expect the same from brands as they do from their friends, according to an article by Campaign, which has highlighted some common ground that bridges the various generations and can help your content appeal to a wider audience.

The study, conducted by Disney | ABC Television, Omnicom Media Group and Insight Strategy Group, revealed five distinct themes that were a central concern to all 4,000 consumers surveyed, regardless of generation:

Anxiety. The world seems caught in a period of uncertainty at the moment – just look at the political situation in both the UK and the US for starters. Consumers are feeling cautious and uncertain about the future. Campaign suggests content marketers can address this anxiety by building trust through their offering, conveying security and emphasising positive values such as family, health and opportunity.

Family values. A total of 87% of respondents agreed that family is the most important theme to them with 82% stating their friends are thought of as family. Content designed to be shared holds appeal across generations, facilitating a sense of closeness and the community the modern consumer thrives on.

Video. Nearly half of consumers communicate with others via media clips, mainly on social media. Gen Zers were found to be the largest user of visual memes, followed by Millennials. Ensuring video and visual content is a significant part of your overall content strategy is essential and increases your appeal to all generations.

Content as mood therapy. The research found all generations use video as mood therapy with 86% of Gen Zers and Millennials stating they would actively seek out content based on their mood. The strongest mood therapy benefits appear to be reflection and relaxation as well as nostalgic references and content.

Loyalty. Approximately 75% of consumers stated they were most loyal to brands that reflect their personal values and want advertising to be relevant for their particular generation. Authenticity, inclusivity and an understanding of the needs and aspirations of each generation are key to retaining that loyalty.

In a nutshell, these five themes demonstrate that consumers want the same from brands as they do from their friends – reliability, authenticity, the feeling of being understood (no matter what point they might be at in life or what mood they might be in), and a strong sense of community. If that doesn’t sound like the perfect friendship, I don’t know what does…

In a world where consumers are bombarded by sales and marketing messages every moment of the day, ‘true’ content marketing that gives brands the opportunity to speak with genuine authenticity and build stronger personal relationships based on trust and likability will leave the audience more receptive to sales messages when they do receive them.

Our friendly team of experts at M2 Bespoke can help with all areas of your content strategy and creation. Drop us a line to find out more about working together.

By |2018-04-11T13:57:24+00:0011th, April 2018|Content Marketing|