Colin Barnard: Consumers want more than discounts from brands

Criteo - Colin Barnard

“Australian shoppers are seeking out brands with strong values, a commitment to eco-friendliness and rewarding loyalty programs”

By Colin Barnard, managing director, Criteo, ANZ

Despite financial pressures from the rising cost of living, consumers are still spending. However, they are demanding more – with an expectation of things like free shipping and discounts year-round. Australian shoppers are seeking out brands with strong values, a commitment to eco-friendliness and rewarding loyalty programs.

These factors are key drivers of purchase as consumers become more conscious in their decision-making. Shoppers are increasingly considerate of a brand’s impact and want to support companies that are doing the right thing and rewarding them for their investment.

Marketers must keep this in mind when developing campaigns to ensure they are connecting with consumers in an effective way – educating them on the brand and why consumers should invest in their mission as well as their products. Here are some key areas to focus on to help reach these increasingly savvy consumers.

Importance of brand values

Australian shoppers are no longer solely drawn to brands because of the discounts they have on offer. Increasingly, we are seeing consumers consider the brand values of the businesses they plan to purchase from, with nearly two-thirds (65 per cent) of Australians sharing that brand values will be a key purchase motivator in the next six months.

Being transparent with these brand values is essential. It is not enough to say you will (or want) to do something – consumers need to see action. A great example of a business living out their values is toilet paper brand, Who Gives a Crap. After discovering that nearly 40 per cent of the world’s population didn’t have access to toilet paper, the business donates 50 per cent of its profits to help build toilets and improve sanitation in the developing world. To date, Who Gives a Crap has donated over $11M and its impact is freely available to view on its website.
It is important for the brands to walk-the-walk when it comes to their values to create strong, trusting relationships with consumers. Consumers are more inclined to spend their money with brand they feel are making a difference.
Growing popularity of eco-friendly businesses
Climate change and the impact that we have on the environment is also at the forefront of consumers’ minds and it is now a key factor when making a purchase decision. Over half (55 per cent) of Australian shoppers have revealed they are searching for eco-friendliness from brands according to Criteo’s The Rise of Savvy Shoppers Study.
We are seeing Australian brands such as sustainable, reusable absorbent apparel brand, Modibodi; reusable cleaning company, Zero Co; and sustainable lifestyle brand, Frank Green, continue to flourish as consumers invest further into eco-friendly solutions. Marketers, if your brands are doing amazing work in this space, shout about it – integrate this messaging into your campaigns and ensure consumers are aware of the impact the brand is having in the space.
Incorporating sustainable practices into a businesses’ daily operations is slowly but surely becoming the norm. Companies that do not improve in this space and, most importantly, tell their consumers about their great work, will begin to fall behind.
Marketers need to promote loyalty
Consumers who are investing in brands want to be recognised and rewarded. Loyalty programs are driving sales, with 69 per cent of Australians saying this is important when considering a purchase in the next six months.
Consumers are discerning, and consistent effort and attention is required to build meaningful relationships with them. A holistic commerce media approach is an effective way to communicate with Australian shoppers on every shoppable moment of their journey, making them feel listened-to and understood. From driving awareness of the brand, to sharing relevant products they are likely to purchase, to creating personalised discounts on product still in the basket, marketers can make every customer journey unique.
Through focusing on brand values, eco-friendliness and loyalty, brands can create a robust customer base while consumers face a tougher time financially. The relationships built and fostered during this time can grow as consumers gain more confidence in spending in the months-and-years to come. It is time to look past product-focused campaigns and focus on the bigger picture.

Top image: Colin Barnard

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