In their continuing struggle to maintain their economic status ever since the 2008-2009 global financial crisis, middle classes in developed countries focus on obtaining the most value for money and optimising their limited resources. The search for value – not just a ‘nice’ price, but also other intangibles such as quality, consumer experience, convenience, authenticity and more – has given rise to Fickle Consumers who are savvy, value conscious, and disloyal to brands.
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Post-recessionary middle-class consumers with more information and more choice than ever before, are becoming harder to connect with and are more fickle and less loyal to brands. They listen more to each other than to company messages when making buying choices.
Fickle consumers flit between brands in pursuit of value. Value is more important than price, as it also relates to other factors such as, quality, consumer experience, convenience, authenticity and novelty. These factors allow brands to stand out.
Product utility a product is more important than the ownership of it. They enjoy the convenience of subscription services even for big-ticket items, and want to experience more.
While increased digital connectivity can discourage loyalty by making consumers better informed, it represents an opportunity for brands by offering new ways to communicate with target audiences. Mobile apps, virtual reality and augmented reality are among the most popular digital strategies.
Key to engaging consumers is offering a social, in-person experience. Players across a range of industries are devising innovative ways of connecting with consumers on a more personal level in a bricks-and-mortar environment.
Popular strategies to inspire loyalty range from educating and engaging consumers to expanding brand portfolios or offering subscription-based flexibility. However, all successful approaches must look to incorporate key focus areas of value, convenience, technology and uniqueness/exclusivity.