Few Consumers Think Brands Know Them Well, Merkle Study Finds

Brands are failing at the all-important job of knowing their customers, judging by The Next Generation Of Consumer Behaviors, a study released last week by Merkle, a firm focused on customer experience management (CXM).

Only 14% of consumers say brands “greatly” know them. But 19% of Gen Zers believe they do, and overall, 73% of respondents feel brands somewhat or slightly know them.  

On another front, only 24% feel influencers, whether micro, macro or celebrities, motivate them to buy from a brand. 

Worse yet, at least for email teams,  only 34% say personalized email recommendations are important, while 12% say very much so. And 33% feel they are unimportant, while 16% say they are very unimportant and 33% say they are neither important or unimportant. 

More generally, only 39% feel that site or email product suggestions are important, while 26% saying they are somewhat important and 13% say they are very important.

Email fares better in terms of two-way communication: 74% expect brands to respond personally to customer-service queries by email, with websites coming in at a distant second at 42%, followed by text with 34%. 

However, 42% would rather handle customer service issues in stores rather than by phone, email, chatbots or social media. And that includes 41% of Gen Z. 

Convenience is critical — 46% say their shopping experience is more satisfying when it is easy to find products. And 16% cite checkout convenience, 11%, delivery; and 10%, customer return, 9%, comparing products; and 9%, finding new brands. 

Meanwhile, 76% of millennials and 83% of Gen Zers want brands to take a stand on social issues, versus 59% of people age 41 or older.

In general, 84% of consumers made an in-store purchase during the past year, and 68% had a product delivered to their homes. 

The takeaway: “Consumers expect brands to evolve with them and behave in ways that reflect what is most important to them – including the channels in which they engage, the products they are interested in, and the way they perceive the world,” states said Pete Stein, global experience & commerce lead at Merkle/CXM. “Brands of the future keep up with rapidly changing consumer sentiments because if they can’t, consumers will find brands that can.”

Merkle surveyed 1,000 consumers in October 2021. 

Next story loading loading..