Questions You Need To Be Asking This Week

October 01, 2018 - 3 minute read

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. 

 

What experiments could you be trying?

As they continue to bring the online shopping revolution back full circle, Amazon have opened another experimental store. Called 4-star, it stocks Amazon’s highest-rated items. It’s a shop resembling the diversity of Amazon’s online marketplace: cheap batteries, toys and mugs sit alongside top-end laptops, fitness trackers, and lamps. It’s innovating through data: algorithms calculate what’s really popular in the area; prices are calculated in real time. On top of these shake-ups, cash isn’t accepted and Prime members pay special prices. Cameron James, head of Amazon’s physical shops, said: “We believe at Amazon in doing experiments — the more experiments you do, the more inventions you’re going to come up with.”

 

Ask yourself: if we ripped up the rulebook, how might we reshape the customer experience?

 

Is beauty a new goldmine?

Sainsbury’s is stepping into the beauty league with a major push towards selling makeup in supermarkets. They will look to compete with Boots and Superdrug, as they double the size of their beauty offering, open beauty aisles in 11 test stores, and relaunch their Boutique makeup range as vegan. Having looked at consumer data, and listened to shop-floor feedback, they have identified that consumers are more interested in beauty than fashion or homeware, and that vegan makeup is a requirement for younger buyers. The aisles will have specialist assistants, as Sainsbury’s try to persuade people in-store amidst a trend towards online grocery shopping.

 

Is there an opening for your brand to tap into the beauty world, and if so, could it be built into your existing customer experience, encouraging people to look at your other products in the process?

 

Are your health and safety policies tight enough?

Pret a Manger has been under fire this week for ignoring repeated warnings that one of their baguettes was causing deathly food allergy reactions due to sesame seeds hidden (and unlabelled) in the bread. After Natasha Ednan-Laperouse died from eating one of the sandwiches, the chain has been asked why they didn’t act to make things safer, when they knew there was a problem. Despite complying with food labelling laws, obviously the company should have been doing more.

 

Ask yourself if adhering to guidelines and laws is really enough, or whether you could be doing more to make sure your brand is safe for consumers. Check over your customer feedback channel to ensure that any alerts or red flags raised aren’t ignored, and are properly dealt with to avoid this kind of tragedy.

 

Which social media accounts reflect on our company?

It’s easy to think that only your official Twitter and LinkedIn pages are thought of when people consider your brand’s social presence. In fact, your senior leadership team are likely to be seen as voices of the company too. Tesla found this out the hard way, when Elon Musk tweeted from his private Twitter account that he was “considering taking Tesla private at $420.” He was sued by the SEC for making “false and misleading” statements, and Tesla’s share price tumbled 10%. Musk has since been forced to step down as chairman, and both he and Tesla must pay $20m penalty fines.

 

Be sure to consider who the thought leaders are attached to your company, and that they have the training or employees to properly manage their social media in line with your overall brand message.

 

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. 

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Are well-trodden paths necessarily the best routes?

The team behind Halo Top—a low calorie ice-cream startup—have had a very welcome surge in popularity recently. They are stocked in Morrisons, Sainsbury’s, Asda, Tesco, and by Ocado, and they sell one pint of ice cream every nine minutes. It’s not always been this way though: in 2014 and 2015 they were “hanging by a thread” says their COO, Douglas Bouton. Their sea change in fortunes came when they ditched the usual marketing strategies—in-store free samples, and trade show demos—and went digital. Bouton explained that Facebook and Instagram have been crucial because of the targeting they allow. They used small-scale influencers—normal people who were interested in health and fitness and had about 1000 followers.

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