Shanghai, 18 November 2015 – Today, Lowe China will hold a sharing salon, where Terry D. Peigh, Senior VP/Managing Director of IPG, will reveal the latest research results from the New Realities Program. The New Realties Program is a global quantitative research study that IPG has conducted for the last 6 years with fieldwork in China, the US, the UK, India, Brazil and Russia. The research perceives a dramatic growth in valuing of product information, which has emerged a very powerful requirement for that information. That is further explored as the demand for total trust. In the presentation, there are attempts to dissect what goes into a trust evaluation by a consumer, or what’s considered when a consumer goes about making a decision to trust.
As the program leader, Terry D. Peigh, commented: “In 2009, IPG saw a need to help our clients get a better understanding of consumers in this new era. We see this information as critically valuable in learning about the ever-changing habits and preferences of today’s consumer, and in designing marketing and marketing communications programs that respond to this new reality.”
The key findings of the New Realities Program are:
- In all countries surveyed, their populations strongly agreed that information availability has made them more confident in their brand choices.
- A very significant segment of the population finds researching and learning about products to actually be fun, rewarding and enjoyable.
- Much of this enjoyment and fulfillment from product learning is sourced in consumers finding social value from that information. Their knowledge about a category or product gives them “social currency” – information to share with others when discussing various products; it enhances their sense of self, and self-esteem.
- Luckily for marketers, consumers today often manifest this desire for social currency by becoming active advocates for brands. Also, in countries like China and India, the overall levels of advocacy interest are very high.
- Over two thirds of respondents strongly agreed that they always seek out trusted sources
- At a global level, respondents believed they were “holding brands to higher standards than ever before”, with the exception of Russia. In China, this belief increased from 62% in 2013 to 71% in 2015.
- The demand for a “higher standard” translates to greater seeking of trusted information on brands. We’ve also seen an increase in consumers rejecting manufacturer-led information, with distrust being highest in China – from 17% in 2013 to 42% in 2015.
- The research identified 6 different factors that contribute to trust with varying levels of influence out of 30 attributes.
- The top two drivers of trust were most closely connected to a manufacturer’s products: product performance and claim truthfulness.
- The second, but significantly lower, set of drivers were “innovation” and “customer-centricity”.
- While seen as viable factors, surprisingly, “support for social causes” and “transparency with regards to criticisms” weren’t considered critical drivers of brand trust.
“These days, with the continued increase in available information, consumers are becoming increasingly skeptical. It’s essential to pair good products with claims that accurately represent their effects without setting unfair or unrealistic expectations. Overpromises might get you the first sale, but they can become dangerous to a brand’s reputation over time.” Terry D. Peigh said.