The Biggest Consumer Frustrations You Could Be Solving

August 08, 2017 - 4 minute read

Everyone’s got a pet peeve.

Whether it’s busy London underground commuters who hate people idling on the left of the escalator; the automated supermarket checkout going on the blink with no one around to help; or never being able to find something different to do at the weekend.

We wanted to find out what type of activities are frustrating people across the UK the most, and what are the biggest day-to-day frustrations that should be solvable using technology?

If you’re entrepreneurially minded, there’s a treasure trove of pain points in here that could inspire you to launch a new venture.

Are you a product manager working at a company that should already be solving these problems? Add it to your roadmap (or tell your marketing team to do a better job of educating your target market if the solution already exists!)

Ok, so first up, these are the everyday activities that consumers find most frustrating.

Commuting sucks

Screen Shot 2017-08-04 at 16.37.27.png

As you can see, commuting is almost twice as frustrating as any other activity that we have do on a regular basis.

For those in London, it shoots up even further to 43%, close to 3x that of the next most frustrating thing.

Spoilt for choice

Interestingly, what is the second-most frustrating thing to the UK as a whole - finding good things to do - is considerably less frustrating for those working in London.

In fact it’s one of the least frustrating day-to-day experiences, way down at 6.7%, versus the national average of 18%.

Search is broken


Google is one of the most valuable companies in the world, investing billions in artificial intelligence and machine learning to make its search algorithm even smarter. But can it help you find the best deal? Not according to 16% of people.

In fact, despite the proliferation of comparison sites like moneysupermarket,, comparethemarket, gocompare,,, expedia, pricerunner, idealo...and many, many others...knowing what’s the best deal is still a deeply frustrating experience.

This is particularly the case for those aged 50 and over, where it is actually their #1 biggest frustration.

And now, for some £ billion ideas

Everyone knows that the best businesses solve real world problems - and so here I’ve picked out a few of the most interesting ones…

‘Traffic’ was referenced in almost 10% of responses. Which leads me to think that the value proposition of self-driving cars should definitely be the traffic-jam-and-commute-time-reducing aspect. As opposed to the ability to read a newspaper or take a nap at the wheel.

The bottom line - if you’re in the self-driving car space and it helps improve people’s commute, you’re working on an itch that everyone wants scratched.

clothes.jpg“Finding a barber that is available and actually good instantly in any area.” - Female, 25, London

“Poorly fitting clothes. It would be relatively easy to have fitted clothes created on-demand.” - Male, 31, Yorkshire & Humber

“How to switch off all screens and phones in one go, and saving energy” - Female, 40, London

“Not knowing when buses will turn up. They should be tracked with bus stops showing eta” - Female, 45, Scotland

“Worrying that my daughter gets home ok late at night from work.” - Female, 60, London

“Travel delays on the work commute - Rather than the travel board at stations saying "Delayed" (unhelpfully), it would be great if an app. could track where the train physically is, so commuters could make an informed judgement/choice on what the hell to do!” - Male, 29, South East

“What to cook for dinner?” - Female, 32, South West

“The biggest frustration is talking over the phone where you can't hear them properly due to the surroundings in which there should be a technology that silences surrounding noises” - Female, 17, London

In conclusion

Even when you think there are plenty of solutions to a problem, it’s incredible how many people are dissatisfied with them and looking for better alternatives.

So if you’re not first to market (remember that Google, Facebook and Apple were not first to their markets), don’t worry too much.

Use consumer insights to figure out where the pain points are, what consumers find most valuable, and where your unique value proposition could help you differentiate you from the competition.

For more inspiration on this, check out 5 Survey Topics that Challenger Brands Need to Focus On.

Ready to get started? Chat to our team today and we’ll help you figure out the best ways to alleviate your consumers biggest frustrations.

Related posts

5 Perspectives on The Brands to Watch in 2018

Who's going to stand out this year? Will brands that took a battering in 2017 make a statement in 2018? Will it be the year of challenger brands or incumbents?

To bring you answers to these questions (and more), we reached out to 5 experts with very different backgrounds across startups, content, social media, experiential marketing and audio to share their unique perspectives on who are the brands to watch in 2018.

Alison Battisby, Founder, Avocado Social

Monzo: The digital mobile-only challenger bank saw nearly half a million new users sign up for its services and claim their bright orange bank cards last year. Monzo is a fantastic way to manage your budget thanks to their instant updates in the app showing you how much you've just spent, and provide added value when used abroad thanks to their free withdrawls up to £200. 

Having just received their full UK banking license from the FCA and PRA in 2017, Monzo is rolling out "the best current account in the world". With their slick app and excellent communication, they are playing to millennials by offering a unique customer experience and we're set to see even more new banking features in 2018. 
Sanctus:  The mental health startup based in London has the vision to create the world's first mental health gym, where people can go and work out their mental health fitness as they would their physical fitness. Right now, the company is working with businesses to create space within a company for people to take time off and talk to a Sanctus coach. In 2018, the company aims to work with 50 business partners and continue to spread awareness of mental health. Founder   James Routledge   writes an excellent weekly newsletter on mental health and growing the startup, which is honestly written and is well worth a read .
Neom Organics:  Hot off the heels of significant new investment, this Harrogate-based beauty and wellbeing brand is set to launch a new range of products in 2018, as well as new retail stores both in the UK and abroad. Neom was found by two friends, one of which was an ex Glamour magazine editor who realised her own wellbeing, and that of her close friends, was affected by the stress and demands of modern life. She quit journalism to train as an aromatherapist and nutritionist before founding Neom. The brand's products focus on improving people’s wellbeing through home fragrances and skincare. 
Adam Azor, Managing Director, Curb
My first pick is Pepsi. Lets be honest, Pepsi had an awful 2017 from a brand perspective, they created what they thought was going to be a work of advertising art, an ad that would change the world, but instead it turned them into a global laughing stock.
This is also on a backdrop of huge backlash and increased legislation against sugary drinks. The days when all they had to worry about was competing against Coca-Cola are probably looked on with nostalgia by the marketing team. However Pepsi are a brand with true marketing pedigree, iconic campaigns, partnerships and experiences.
I’m really interested to see how they come back. The test of a great brand is how they react when they are at their lowest. I will be watching Pepsi closely in 2018 to see what they have planned.

My second one to watch for 2018, is the darling of the Aim, BooHoo. The online based fashion retailer has gone through exceptional growth over the last few years, along with some very smart acquisitions.

However they are now at the point where brand building is becoming as important as performance marketing. I expect an innovative business such as BooHoo to evolve its marketing activity to ensure it not only continues its business growth but becomes a brand leader in its own right.

This will be a year to watch brands take the design aspect of their branding in new and exciting directions.

Posted by Mark Walker on January 16, 2018

10 Ways To Understand and Shift Your Brand Perception in 2018

Think you know what your brand represents? I’ll let you in on a little secret; it’s not what you say in your slogan, brand values or advertisements. It’s whatever consumers say you are.

Posted by Bel Booker on January 09, 2018

5 Things That the Strongest Brands Focus on

Nothing lasts forever.

Posted by Mark Walker on January 08, 2018

5 New Year Resolutions to Help Your Brand in 2018

New Year resolutions don't just have to be for individuals. The idea of improving, quitting bad habits and enjoying a more productive, successful year can be just as valid for business and teams. 

Here are some resolutions you may want to consider for your brand to avoid the pitfalls others experienced in 2017.

Posted by Alex Rees on January 05, 2018