In the modern, connected era, brands have access to more consumer insights than ever before, while consumers have more ways in which to share their opinions, and be heard by the businesses they deal with. That's changed the way many organizations operate, in various capacities - but importantly, it's also changed what customers expect, in regards to engagement, response and subsequent action from the brands they buy from.
This new paradigm is the focus of the latest research report from Snap Inc. - Snap recently partnered with the team from CASSANDRA in order to seek opinions from Gen Z consumers around what they expect, in terms of innovation, from the brands that they're more likely to purchase from.
And the results provide some interesting considerations - first off, the researchers asked respondents what they're looking for in terms of brand innovation, with respect to where they're more likely to spend their money.
The top responses were:
Adoption of the latest technology
A focus on making products more accessible
Brands that make people’s lives easier
Brands that make people happier
Snap notes that while the first two responses here are pretty much in line with expectation, the others are a little more surprising, with Gen Z’s definition "expanding to include emotional as well as practical utility".
Of course, various reports have documented Gen Z's more social conscious approach to consumption, with brands that are willing to take a stance on a social issue more likely to connect with younger audiences. The responses here largely underline the same - though it is also worth noting that core brand fundamentals, like price and quality, are still critical in the Gen Z decision-making process.
But the results also uncovered another key area of focus, which directly relates to how brands action social media insights.
As noted by Snap:
"Listening to customer feedback and ideas is another mark of innovation. Gen Z feels strongly that brands should source ideas from the public to stay ahead of the curve. They’re also more likely to support a company if they feel their feedback makes a difference (80%) and if the company actually makes changes based on customer feedback (82%)."
This is where the new era of connection has changed consumer behavior - now, with the capacity to broadcast their thoughts on anything, at any time, to a wide audience, consumers are also, increasingly, expecting brands to listen, and take action on the same.
This is a key consideration for businesses looking to maximize their use of social media to improve the customer experience. Now, through social channels, you have an opportunity to tune into what's being said, and improve your products and processes based on that feedback. The results here show that this is not only helpful, it's becoming the expectation - consumers expect brands to hear what they're saying and adjust accordingly.
Those that can do this may well stand a better chance of connecting with the next generation of consumers.
Some interesting considerations, worth noting within your digital marketing approach.
You can read Snapchat's full "Innovation Generation: What Makes a Brand Innovative?" report here.