November 26, 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.

Is there an underserved market you could get to know?

It’s a tough time in the world of sugar, as the demise of Patisserie Valerie has shown, but one bakery is defying the decline. Cakebox, an East London company, is booming: their maiden results, announced on Monday, told of a rise in sales and earnings. This is, in part, thanks to their unusual USP: all of their cakes can be made without eggs. Eggless cakes were once hard to find, and aren’t often stocked by traditional bakeries. It means that Cakebox is providing edible cakes to a market which has previously been majorly underserved. In many Asian communities, eggs can’t be eaten for religious reasons. Cakebox’s commitment to egg-free goods, then, means that this large slice of the British market is readily available, and free of competition.

Are the traditional bounds of your market excluding a huge consumer group? This could provide a great opportunity to tailor your offering to a new market.

Have you sought out enough local expertise?

Italian fashion house Dolce & Gabbana have made grave errors with Chinese consumers. China is one of the brand’s biggest and most important markets, and D&G’s latest campaign that plays on racist Asian stereotypes is isolating them. The advert features a Chinese model struggling to eat a cannolo with chopsticks. Not only was it found to be offensive because it displays hackneyed stereotypes of Chinese people lacking the refinement to understand how to eat foreign foods, but the narration over the top adds sexual innuendos. D&G have apologised, but much damage has been done: they had to pull out of a show in Shanghai; models and celebrities threatened to leave the brand; and Secoo and Yoox Net-a-porter suspended sales of their products.

Don’t assume you know enough about cultures that aren’t your own to successfully advertise to them without advice. Speak to people in that target market before you act.

Do your spokespeople look and sound like your consumers?

The publishing industry is noticing a shift in the kinds of life advice manuals that are selling with younger women. In times gone by, it was expected that readers of career advice books would want to hear from those further up the ladder than them, now they’re looking to peers. Marian Lizzi, editor in chief of PenguinRandom imprint, TarcherPerigee says the trend “is going towards a peer-to-peer approach rather than an expert. People want authors that look like them and are speaking from personal experience.” Douglas McCabe of Enders Analysis thinks this shift echoes the one they’re seeing in MBA programmes: “the criticism that many executives make about MBA programmes today — that there is too much focus on business principles and case studies from before, say, 2000.”

Do the people speaking for and about your brand look like the people buying it? Being relatable is a great strategy for winning with customers.

Will new advertising regulations affect you?

The noose continues to tighten around the unchecked regulation junk food has enjoyed for so long. From 25th February, a ban will be imposed across all London transport networks on advertising sugary, fatty food. The Underground, Overground, bus systems, and roads controlled by TfL will no longer house images or videos for the unhealthy products largely responsible for the concerning levels of obesity in the country. Mayor Sadiq Khan has said he needs to tackle the “ticking time bomb” of childhood obesity in particular, and this ban will fall in line with the laws that try to protect under 16-year-olds from junk food ads. 82% of people are in favour of the ban, and Dame Sally Davies (chief medical officer for England) has called it an “important step in the right direction.”

Do your products and advertising need to fall in line with new advertising guidelines? And can you ready your offering for a stricter future?

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.