Consumer trust is crumbling, but brands can rebuild loyalty through relevancy

by | Aug 6, 2018 | Public Relations

Data-handling gaffes, misguided ad targeting and inefficient personalization tactics have sent consumers’ trust in brands into a tailspin—but smart brands can still fuel brand loyalty with the right combination of omnichannel engagement and hands-on, attentive service, according to new research from brand engagement firm CrowdTwist.

The company conducted research into consumer attitudes towards loyalty programs, brand engagement, emerging technologies, and shopping experiences for its new study, Engaging Consumers in an Age of Increasing Brand Distrust, which includes an assessment by location and income, and an overview of the most popular loyalty programs in market today.

Consumer trust is crumbling, but brands can rebuild loyalty through relevancy

“The survey provides a comprehensive overview of consumer trends as they pertain to brand loyalty, and uncovers interesting insight,” said Scott Matthews, CEO of CrowdTwist, in a news release. “It is evident the effects of data mismanagement and poorly executed personalization has left consumers skeptical.”

The research indicates that consumers are skeptical of sharing data with brands and are reluctant to try new technologies designed to enhance brand experiences. Engaging, omnichannel loyalty programs are valuable to consumers and provide brands the opportunity to capture rich, opt-in customer data.

Consumer trust is crumbling, but brands can rebuild loyalty through relevancy

Only 46 percent of consumers (and 50 percent of Millennial and Gen Z consumers) are willing to share their data in exchange for personalized experiences

Consumers have become increasingly wary of how brands use their data. This learning is a significant change from last year when 98 percent of the Millennial and Gen Z consumers CrowdTwist surveyed responded that they are willing to share their personal information.

Only 34 percent of the consumers surveyed have purchased something that was recommended to them by a brand in the past six months

This indicates that brands are not effectively collecting or using data to personalize experiences for customers.

Most consumers prefer to shop online, but 41 percent also shop in-store and 76 percent of consumers want to be awarded points for walking into a brand location, restaurant, gym or store

This indicates that brands need to invest in having an omnichannel presence and provide a seamless brand experience across all channels.

63 percent of consumers are more likely to shop with a brand that offers a loyalty program

Loyalty programs provide a competitive advantage for brands.

78 percent of people are active in at least one loyalty program

The majority of consumers actively participate in at least one loyalty program. 57 percent have at least one loyalty app installed on their phone.

Consumer trust is crumbling, but brands can rebuild loyalty through relevancy

86 percent of affluent consumers are active in at least one loyalty program

This indicates that loyalty programs could be beneficial for high end and luxury brands. It’s worth noting this group also redeems rewards at a higher rate than other income brackets.

89 percent of people want discount rewards from a loyalty program

Furthermore, 79 percent of consumers expressed that discounts and cash back are the most important components of a loyalty program.

84 percent of consumers are willing to complete a survey as part of a loyalty program

This engagement activity helps drive better personalization. In addition, 55 percent of consumers wanted to be rewarded for visiting a company’s website and 51 percent for playing a game.

Consumer trust is crumbling, but brands can rebuild loyalty through relevancy

“Omnichannel loyalty programs offer an opportunity for brands to rebuild trust and create meaningful relationships with consumers through permission-based data capture and personalization,” said Matthews. “This is affirmed by the fact that consumers are willing to complete a range of engagement activities like surveys in exchange for program perks and rewards. Loyalty programs also provide a competitive advantage, especially for brands with an affluent target customer base. The research also strengthens the growing need for brands to operate across digital, social and in-store, maintaining the same identity and experience across all channels.”

Download the full report here.

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Richard Carufel
Richard Carufel is editor of Bulldog Reporter and the Daily ’Dog, one of the web’s leading sources of PR and marketing communications news and opinions. He has been reporting on the PR and communications industry for over 12 years, and has interviewed hundreds of journalists and PR industry leaders. Reach him at richardc@bulldogreporter.com; @BulldogReporter

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