December 10, 2018

Questions You Need to Be Asking This Week


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Consumer sentiment changes every hour of every day. Knowing what customers are thinking is the key to making good decisions for your brand. Here are the top stories affecting consumers this week. Keeping your finger on the pulse, made easy.

How do you turn a potential scandal into an opportunity to excel?

Walkers have made a major commitment to recycling crisp packets, after months of prompting from consumers. A campaign where people posted packets back to Walkers caused problems for Royal Mail, who were forced to intervene. Additionally, a petition for environmental packaging received over 330,000 signatures since people were appalled at finding decades-old crisp packs on beaches. Undaunted, Walkers took the criticism in their stride: “We understand the responsibility we have to reduce the impact of our packaging on the environment, and we’re on it!” They have pledged to be 100% recyclable by 2025, and in the meantime have partnered with TerraCycle to establish a network of collection points across the UK where people can easily recycle their packs, as well as offering a free courier service to people who can’t make it to one of these stations.

See public pushback as a chance to improve rather than something threatening. The best way to deal with it is to speak to people, find out why they’re angry, and strategise a solution.

Can a PR stunt pioneer research into consumer habits?

Amazon Go is coming to the UK. The tech giant are reported to be on the hunt for 3000-5000 square feet near Oxford Circus to launch their first cashierless shop in Britain. London’s West End is seen as Europe’s busiest shopping district, and would be the first Amazon Go branch to open outside of America. Smart phones scanned at turnstiles on entry, combined with a network of cameras to work out what each shopper picks up, means that there’s no need to pay: you can simply walk out. Amazon now has three such shops in Seattle, three in Chicago, and one in San Francisco. They’re planning to have 3000 worldwide by 2021. The idea serves not only as a flashy PR stunt, grabbing headlines across the country, but also as a way to monitor how people shop. It will give them an edge when it comes to product design and sales strategy, and is another step that sees Amazon dominating the future of retail.

How is your relationship with consumers going to change in the future? Does friction-free always mean human-free? And will shifting your model alienate or attract new consumers?

Should your events be less exclusive?

Live events hold the shimmering appeal of exclusivity. Seeing a band in concert has traditionally been something that only those with a ticket could do. Since the dawn of the internet, and fan videos on YouTube, this has shifted slightly but, with many artists keen to keep concerts private, there’s been a distinct anti-filming sentiment. Capital flipped the story this week, when they streamed their Jingle Bell Ball live for the first time. They chose Twitter as the platform to host the show, and the live stream was preceded by adverts for Coca-Cola, who were the event’s sponsor. Alec Mellor, marketing manager at Coca-Cola said of the decision, “we wanted to make sure more people had the chance to enjoy this amazing event.” With an all star line up of Little Mix, Rita Ora, Ellie Goulding and Olly Murs, tickets were expensive and difficult to get; this way many more fans could partake.

Exclusivity can be a huge selling point, but can also leave brand fans out in the cold. Is there a way to keep an event’s live appeal, while also democratising it?

Which brand extensions could function well for a pop-up?

Pop-ups can be an excellent branding exercise: their transience means they’re likely to heighten the appeal, as people feel like they should go before it closes. Done right, it’s a great way to show yourself off to people who aren’t yet customers. Choosing a brand extension to focus on is a good technique to draw in people who may not naturally explore what you have to offer. The bakery Greggs has, for the festive period, introduced gift wrapping stations and a temporary line of stocking fillers (a Greggs Christmas jumper, doughnut socks, and sausage-roll umbrellas all feature). The gifts are on-brand enough that they’ll be fuelling awareness, but also offer something new. Present-wrapping, meanwhile, means that consumers are encouraged to spend a little time in the shops, and indulge in some of Greggs’ usual wares.

If you’re using a pop-up or an in-store experience, talk to consumers to gauge the right level of unfamiliarity to include in your offering.

If you want to launch a survey about any of these, or other current issues,just log in to your Attest dashboardand launch a survey to find out what real people are thinking right now. 

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