The Harvard Business Review Blog Network has posted a three-part series based on a global survey of 7,000 consumers, focusing on the relationship between branded merchandise and those who buy the product. The first addressed what consumers really want, and the second dealt with the response to customers who say they want a wider choice of products.
The third debunked three specific myths about what consumers want, namely:
- How much of a relationship do consumers want to have with a brand,
- Insight into what really builds a consumer/brand relationship, and
- How much interaction between brands and customers works best.
In short, the survey revealed that customers are not really interested in a close relationship with branded merchandise. Consequently, brand manufacturers more often waste time and risk alienating their customers by trying to encourage a relationship.
The survey pointed to shared values as a principle force behind the establishment of a relationship between brands and their customers. Little more than 10 percent of respondents agreed that frequent interaction produced a lasting relationship.
Meantime, there seems to be no direct correlation between the number of times consumers are contacted by brands and a guarantee that the buyer will make the purchase and then prove to be a steady customer in the future. Indeed, the survey revealed that too much contact can have the opposite effect.
Here are links to the three different parts of the series:
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Questions: Have academic surveys proven helpful for devising long-term business plans?
What are their strengths and weaknesses?