Today’s tech innovation moves at a dizzying pace—meaning brands have more consumer engagement channels available than ever before. But exploring and integrating new technology doesn’t come without a sizeable investment, so knowing which innovations will drive consumer interest—and improve brand perception and reputation—is a question every brand striving for relevance in today’s crowded media landscape must be prepared to answer.
New research from Diffusionexamines how adopting, implementing and experimenting with emerging tech affects consumers’ perceptions of brands and purchasing patterns—revealing that both legacy brands and disruptors can no longer afford not to explore emerging technologies, as these new engagement channels impact brand perceptions at a staggering rate.
The firm’s new 2019 Everything is Tech Report, commissioned with YouGov, also found that tech proficiency also pushes the needle on consumer likeliness to purchase from and recommend these brands to friends and family.
Legacy brands have more skin in the game
It’s no secret that investing in new technologies can be costly, but the data shows that the costs of notinnovating can be much higher. The report found that 46 percent of Americans had a higher expectation of legacy brands to be actively experimenting with new tech, compared to direct-to-consumer and startup brands.
With new, disruptive startups biting at the heels of legacy brands in almost every industry, exploring emerging technologies is an effective strategy to maintain an image of innovation and a commitment to staying cutting-edge, no matter how long a company has been in business.
In the eyes of consumers, not all emerging technologies are made equal
Every brand wants to reach its audience more impactfully, but where to start and which technologies to focus on can prove a daunting decision. The research shows Augmented Reality (AR) is the best way to go—over a quarter of Americans chose AR as the tech most associated with being perceived as innovative.
AR is flexible, interactive and engaging, and implementing it is a surefire way to show consumers a commitment to chasing the cutting edge. Other technologies, such as chatbots, proved far less effective in impacting consumers’ perception of innovation for a brand.
The bottom line
Perception undoubtedly has a direct and profound effect on a brand’s success and longevity. Increased interest, relevance and profits come with the territory when consumers perceive a brand as being innovative—especially so in today’s super-competitive business climate. In fact, 1 in 6 consumers (16 percent) are more likely to spend money with brands they perceive as being innovators, and even more were more likely to recommend an innovative brand to friends and family.
Driving positive perception and heightened purchase intent are the goals of every communications and marketing campaign, so the data paints a clear picture—ignore emerging tech at your own peril.