Global Brand Engagement Trends - web & social
The importance of brand loyalty has been thrown into stark relief this year as the pandemic has fundamentally disrupted consumer behaviour around the...
Global Brand Engagement Trends
The importance of engagement in uncertain times
The importance of brand loyalty has been thrown into stark relief this year as the pandemic has fundamentally disrupted consumer behaviour around the world.
Consequently, brands are keen to strengthen their relationship with their consumer targets in order to better future-proof themselves against further disruptions.
But brand loyalty and engagement can fluctuate greatly - both between consumer groups and between countries - so it is important for marketers to understand where loyalty is strongest and what forms it takes.
Latest insights from our TGI Global Quick View consumer data – with fieldwork conducted during the initial peak of the pandemic between March and May this year - reveal consumer attitudes towards brands and how connected consumers* engage with brands in 25 markets worldwide.
*Connected consumers = adults who use the internet at least once a week
Premium Brand Engagement
It is those brands that position themselves solidly in the premium space who particularly rely on loyalty to survive and thrive.
The proportion of connected consumers who claim they tend to pick premium products and services shows very wide disparity, with two-thirds of those in India claiming to do so compared to under a quarter in Japan.
Indeed, the highest markets generally are south and south-east Asian, with the notable exceptions of Japan and South Korea, which are at completely the opposite end of the scale.
Asian markets also come out strongly for interest in designer clothes
If we switch focus slightly to those connected consumers who say they wear designer clothes, India, China and Indonesia again come out strongly.
However, overall agreement is a little lower here than we saw for commitment to premium goods and services as a whole.
Consumers in South Korea and Germany again have relatively little interest. However, strikingly, Spain jumps from being in the bottom five markets for interest in premium goods and services to the top five when it comes to designer clothes, highlighting a specific interest in this sector for Spanish consumers.
So does it ultimately boil down to money and people being willing to spend big? Not exactly.
Willingness to pay extra for quality is popular generally, with nearly two-thirds of connected consumers across the 25 markets willing to do so.
However, the top five countries look rather different here than for willingness to get hold of premium goods and designer clothes.
Latin American markets rank high for paying extra for quality
Brazil tops the list for willingness to pay for goods and services perceived as high quality, with over 80% of its connected consumers happy to pay a premium for quality, with Latin American countries make up most of the top five spots.
On the other hand, under half of consumers in Belgium are prepared to pay extra for quality. It is also very noteworthy to see consumers in Taiwan, who we saw so strongly committed to choosing premium products and services, down at the lowest end of the scale for paying extra for quality.
There may be a number of reasons for this. One factor could be a stronger perceived connection between cost and quality in some markets.
In some countries premium, reliable and quality goods might be expected as standard without having to break the bank. Whereas in other countries there may be more of a perception that if you’re not prepared to pay a bit more what you get might simply not be good enough to suit its purpose.
Brand Connection Trends
When it comes to connecting with brands, some markets dominate above others right across the board.
Whether it is reading emails from brands, interacting with a brand on social media or seeking information about a brand on their website, India and Indonesia occupy the top two positions every time, with Brazil and Mexico also in the top five.
By contrast, consumers in Germany top the list for their lack of engagement with brands in all three instances, followed closely by other western markets, as well as Japan and South Korea.
The theme here is clearly that in more mature commercial markets brand engagement is far lower than it is in younger and more emerging markets.
We see echoes in this of the differences in engagement with advertising between these two sets of markets, as detailed in our report ‘The Power of Data: Delivering Better Advertising in an Addressable World’ .
This report reveals for example that in Britain 60% of connected consumers agree that they find it intrusive when they see advertising that has been targeted specifically to them because of things they have searched for or done online in the past. Whereas the equivalent figure for China is 48%.
Unlike in the older advertising markets, in more emerging markets the sheer volume of branding and lifelong exposure to it has yet to impact on culture to the point where it becomes a barely noticeable background noise.
This highlights the challenges for brands in the these established ad markets in engaging and building loyalty and the need to invest in understanding what will give them stand-out versus other brands.
After all, the differences are stark, with around half of India’s connected consumers claiming to read emails from brands at least once a week, compared to under a fifth of those in Germany and Japan.
Spotlight on Great Britain
Brand engagement in Britain today
Spotlight On Great Britain
Like those in the other western markets, consumers in Britain are firmly at the less engaged end of the international scale for commitment to premium brands and paying extra for them.
Similarly, when it comes to interacting with any brands, as in most western countries, engagement is considerably lower in Great Britain than across the 25 markets as a whole.
Premium brands must therefore carefully consider how they can create content and campaigns that engage with consumer targets in Britain and work with relevant datasets to gain a holistic understanding of these targets and the best ways to reach them.
High earning parents most likely to be attracted to premium brands
It is of course important to understand in the first instance who these British consumers are who will seek out premium or designer brands. They are particularly likely to be relatively high earning, sit within the highest socio-economic grades and have children at home.
To engage those who choose premium goods and services we must evaluate the media they are especially likely to consume heavily. For those into designer labels, the likes of cinema, gaming and mobile internet rank highest.
With cinema an efficient means of reaching this target, we can next identify top films they engage with. This granular insight enables bespoke campaigns built around tailored content that will best engage them.