The latest branding doubletalk comes from Salsify and their research. According to them, consumers pay more for a brand they “trust.” Really? They also tell us that the “omnichannel” is very important. That may be true for some products, but do consumers need a digital experience for frozen pizza and ice cream?
The fact is that 99.9% of the products in the grocery aisle don’t require an omnichannel experience. Just deliver what the customer wants, and you’ll get repeat business. There is absolutely no reason for consumers to go to an online site for ice cream, frozen meals, or cereal.
I buy from Amazon all the time because they create a great online shopping experience but do I trust them? Hell no. I certainly don’t trust P&G products whose prices have increased despite record profits.
As the Ad Contrarian said, “people buy from brands that are famous,” not because they trust them. It’s about satisfying our needs, not about responsible brands who tend to value Wall Street more than their customers.
Here is another example. I love cycling, and recently I decided to buy an e-Bike to help with pedaling on windy and sweltering days. I’ve been a Trek customer for over 20 years, but when it came to the technology of e-bikes, Specialized leaves them in the dust. Sure, I went online to look at models and reviews, but the decision to buy a Specialized Creo was based on their features, not on what others had said.
On the other hand, when I researched some audio equipment, I listened to what other customers had said about the products and retailers. When a new restaurant opens up, I’ll look at the menu and read customer reviews before going, but usually, our decision will be based on the menu.
You can’t take research like Salsify’s and apply it to all products categories universally. Th best way to do research is to listen to YOUR own customers. I’m also a big fan of watching people shop in-store.
If you market a good product and deliver on your promise (better tasting pizza, for example), you’ll get repeat customers, but if your product fails customer expectations, your toast. Brands should focus more on a better product experience at all levels of retail rather than the latest buzzword, “omnichannel.”