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.
The darling of Silicon Valley
Apple beat Amazon to the post, becoming the world’s first ever trillion dollar public company. Its shares hit $207.05 on Thursday morning following the company’s declaration of strong financial results. Founded in 1976, the company is only 42 years old and is now worth more than the economies of Switzerland or Turkey, and is the equivalent of a third of the UK’s economy. There were concerns when founder, Steve Jobs, passed away over whether the company could continue its exceptional reputation for innovation, but the brand has gone from strength to strength on Jobs’s well-laid foundations and, under the stewardship of Tim Cook, Apple’s share price has increased fourfold.
The takeaway? Be ambitious with your brand, and make sure people love the core of what you do. Why not learn how strong your brand is amongst consumers by asking:
Name the brand you think of first when you’re looking to buy [product type]?
What’s the one brand you couldn’t live without?
Describe [your brand] in one word
How likely are you to recommend [your brand] to a friend?
Use these questions regularly to check in with how well-known and how well-liked your brand is.
Kraft Heinz roster gaining names
Kraft’s shares climbed to their best day in over a year, after posting strong revenues and earnings in their quarterly results, and after their CEO made an exciting statement of intent. In an ever more health-conscious market, the snack giant has struggled, but the company is ready to respond. Bernardo Hees, Kraft Heinz chief executive, has announced that they will be looking to acquire more big-name brands, as well as developing more own brand products like their Just Crack an Egg healthy breakfasts, and new nutritious Lunchables packs.
If you can feel your market changing around you, and you’re not quite at the bleeding edge, check in with consumers:
Please rank the following priorities when you look to purchase [product type]
Name one type or product or service you’re using that you didn’t last year?
What still frustrates you the most about [market]?
Use these results to understand what consumers want when it comes to your market, and adapt to meet their needs.
Starbucks delivery headed for China
Starbucks isn’t doing as well as they’d like to be in China, so they have a new strategy to try and up their game. They’re starting a delivery service to try and win back business from Luckin Coffee, a Chinese brand that specialises in office coffee delivery, who have made serious inroads by undercutting the American chain on price and convenience. Starbucks enjoy about 80% of the Chinese market, and since 15% of their total revenues come from the Asia-Pacific region, they are understandably keen not to let things slip. Belinda Wong, the Starbucks China chief, acknowledges there will of course be teething problems, but is determined she can listen to consumers until they get it spot on.
If a challenger brand is nibbling away at your market share, it’s time to touch base with consumers and ask:
Have you heard of [your competitor]?
How would you describe [your brand] compared to [your competitor]?
What makes [your brand] better/worse from [your competitor]?
Use these results to evolve and stay ahead of them, before it’s too late.
Outsmarting the smart home market
Sonos shares debuted on the stock market last week, and performed particularly well on their very first day. The stock rose by almost a third, to $19.91, by close of business putting the valuation of the company at $2.4bn. As smart speakers, and smart home tech more generally, becomes increasingly popular, Sonos are ambitious and hungry to take on brand giants. Though Google and Amazon are also playing hard for a stake in this market, Sonos are selling their offering for a much higher price, on a much more upmarket promise. Mike Groeninger, Sonos’ VP of Finance, has said that Sonos won’t suffer the same fate as Fitbit or GoPro (a strong IPO, followed by a crash) since their product boasts longevity and won’t lock consumers into an updating cycle.
If you’re looking to cultivate an upmarket niche, ask people:
Which luxury brands do you most admire?
What motivates you to buy premium brands over cheaper alternatives?
Use these results to check your brand is striking the right chord to try and take on better established, more affordable labels.
If you want to launch a survey about any of these, or other current issues, just log in to your Attest dashboard and launch a survey to find out what real people are thinking right now.