Study Reveals Most Popular Brand Marketing Tactics Among Global Consumers

Technology has given business owners many different ways to interact with their target audience and to build their brand. The problem with having a lot of options is that it can make it hard to know which tactics work best. You might be surprised by what matters most to consumers. A survey from Global Web Index shows what consumers expect from brands and what brand marketing tactics work the best.

How Brand Purpose Influences Brand Marketing Tactics

Though it’s probably splitting hairs, a business and its brand are separate things. The business is what you do, your brand is who is you are. One way to establish a brand is to have strong brand purpose. Brand purpose has been described as “how a company intends to change the world for the better …  a statement of belief, of hope, of pursuit.”

A brand purpose in action can be seen in companies that seek to be the eco-friendly option in their industry. However, brand purpose doesn’t have to be so noble. Some brands consider it their purpose to be popular with teens and other brands are built around being edgy.

Business owners and marketers spend a lot of time thinking of ways to give their brand a certain image. For all the time and energy spent on this kind of brand marketing, do brand purposes matter to consumers? The short answer is yes, but it’s more complicated than people realize.

Global Web Index began 2019 by releasing a survey that showed how consumers felt about different brand purposes and what they expected from brands in the modern age. The company asked nearly 110,000 people around the world to select the three things that brands did that they liked the most. The survey results show that consumers care about some brand purposes, but they are more concerned about the practical ways a brand’s product can help them.

As Nisa Bayindir explained in a blog post about the research, “Since 2015, we have polled consumers on what they expect from their favorite brands. Our global survey demonstrates the ethical, social and emotional desires that brand purposes can address, but despite rising requirements, there isn’t a major shift away from the more practical benefits that brands offer.”

Most Popular Marketing Tactics Used By Brands

The most popular brand marketing tactic was when brands “improve your knowledge” which was listed by 27 percent of survey respondents. This shows a large amount of diversity among what consumers around the world want from brands. Even when everyone got three choices, the most consensus that could be found was something that chosen by just one in four respondents. Besides informing the consumer, customers like it when brands “provide new products”, which was the second most cited brand-building practice at 25 percent. The third spot was taken by “make you feel like a valued customer”, which reached 24 percent.

Far from lofty goals of many brand purposes, these top three reasons to like a brand are somewhat egocentric. The consumers in this survey wanted to know how a brand can help them make better decisions; what new products the brand had for them; and what could a brand do to make them feel valued. It’s only at the fourth spot that we begin to see more altruistic reasons to like a brand. Nearly one in four (24 percent) of the Global Web Index survey respondents said they liked brands that had “eco-friendly products”. One could argue that supporting eco-friendly products is egocentric since the buyer will benefit from a better environment. The fifth spot was claimed by “organize your daily life”, which was cited by 23 percent of respondents. This is another brand marketing tactic that helps the consumer. The message is clear: the best marketing tactics are ones that provide a clear benefit to the customer.

Least Popular Brand Marketing Tactics and Surprising Results

On the other end of the spectrum, there are some brand marketing tactics that aren’t as popular as many would think. For example, only 10 percent of respondents said they were looking for a brand that “let you contribute ideas” or ones that “use services from local suppliers”. Only 7 percent said they liked it when brands “connect you with fans”, though that is a pretty niche marketing tactic, so it may be useful for its intended audience.

The responses in the middle of the pack reveals some surprising details about what matters more to consumers. Many companies donate to charity and perform philanthropic work. And this was appreciated by 12 percent of the people surveyed by Global Web Index. However, 15 percent of people like brands that “make you feel cool” and 13 percent liked brands that “improve you image/reputation”.

Before marketers suspend all of their charitable donations and pour that money into being cool (e.g. celebrity endorsements), there is something to consider. It is hard to be cool in the eyes of the public, especially when compared to the ease of donating to charity. Since they have a similar rate of popularity among consumers, it’s more cost-effective to build a brand by being charitable than it is to build a brand chasing the cool factor.

Here’s a takeaway from the survey for content marketers. Consumers like it more when brands provide “up-to-date news”, which was cited by 18 percent of respondents, than when brands “provide entertaining videos” which was only cited by 12 percent. There is always a benefit to creating enjoyable content, but consumers are concerned with learning more than they are with laughing more.

There are a lot of different marketing tactics to try, and what’s best for a particular company will depend on what they do and who their audience is. But when deciding on a marketing plan, be sure to consider this study on brand purpose to be sure that you are using the best combination of marketing tactics.

For more recent research that can help business owners and marketers, read this article on the changing sentiments about diversity in America.  

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