December 17, 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.

Can you use your USP to put your stamp on a new market?

LMVH— known for their fashion labels, Louis Vuitton and Christian Dior—are no stranger to luxury. Now they are moving rapidly beyond clothes and perfumes and into what they’re terming “experiential luxury.” This week they acquired Belmond, which owns a host of swanky hotels like the Hotel Cipriani in Venice, as well as luxury travel services like the Orient Express trainline. This acquisition boosts LMVH’s hotel portfolio and launches them into the world of transport (Belmond also owns cruises). They are hoping to tap into the rising trend of consumers spending big on experience, rather than products. Be it wining and dining, or travel and hotels, consumers are increasingly more interested in crafting a beautiful time, than having a beautiful thing.

Think about the unique element your brand offers consumers, and ask them whether there’s another market they’d like to see this applied.

What can you do to buck the trend?

ASOS has long been hailed as part of the solution to the decline of high street footfall. As brick and mortar stores have consistently seen closures, and issued profit warnings, it has been assumed that much of this is down to the appeal, and consequent flourishing of, online-only brands. Now though, ASOS has issued a profit warning of its own, brought on by a dramatic downturn in sales throughout November, which is usually a strong month for them. In an effort to compete with the likes of Boohoo over the price slashing Black Friday period, ASOS had to step up to “a higher discount and continued high clearance mix” which left their profits lacking. Analysts are speculating whether this downturn is reflective of wider market conditions, or due to internal operations, particularly given that ASOS have recently been opening international distribution centres.

It’s a particularly difficult time for shops. The only way to keep consumers engaged with your brand is to keep talking to them to make sure you know exactly what’s driving their purchases.

Does the novelty aspect really work?

It’s difficult to grab consumer attention in what often feels like a saturated world. Novelty value, particularly hinged to a big calendar event, can be a great way to draw consumers in. It’s a tactic that supermarkets are giving a go this Christmas. Shops are experimenting with a variety of seemingly bizarre flavours: there are Christmas tree flavoured crisps this year at Iceland. In past years, shoppers have been confronted with brussel sprout flavoured tea at Sainsbury’s; Christmas pudding smoothies at M&S; and turkey infused gin from Portobello Road. The trend is equally popular at cafés. Pret a Manger have a festive option for almost all of their lunch choices, from the expected turkey sandwiches, to the more offbeat Christmas salads. Paul has mince pie croissants, while Starbucks has brought back its popular Christmas lattes covering flavours from gingerbread to eggnog.

There’s a fine line to tread between something that will cause a stir and generate excitement and good cheer, and a gimmick. Chat to consumers to find the perfect balance.

Why not lead the way when it comes to advertising?

Gender stereotypes plague every area of life, not least the world of adverts and branding. Hopefully June 2019 will herald a new era, with the Committee of Advertising Practice bringing a ban on “gender stereotypes that are likely to cause harm, or serious or widespread offence” into place. No more will our TV screens be afflicted by scenes of men struggling with household chores, or girls being less academic than boys. CAP director Shariar Coupal stated that the new rule “calls time on stereotypes that hold back people and society.”

Could your brand push to be ahead of the curve? Talk to your consumers about how progressive adverts could better represent them and their families, so that they feel your brand is speaking directly and inclusively to them.

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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