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Proprietary Research: New Consumer Hierarchy of Needs for Retailers

In Q1, Blis conducted market research through AYTM, speaking with 2000 consumers across the United States at every socio-economic level, to uncover shopper preferences and how they like to best interact with brands. The survey findings highlighted a consumer mindset shift when it comes to retail and their brand relationships.
Over the past decade, the retail industry has been turned on its head. The 2008 recession broke the ‘tried and true’ retail rules of old. Furthermore, the rise of Amazon and ecommerce has shifted consumer expectations to focus around convenience.

Before these events, consumers tended to spend with the brands they knew and, once the consumer/brand relationship was made, it was trusted and resilient. Having been trained to watch what and where they spend closely over the past ten years, consumer priorities have changed. Today’s brands need to constantly build and reinforce the consumer relationship by anticipating needs and catering to the customer. Consumers need to be personally engaged via advertising or marketing and they are increasingly demanding value beyond the transaction alone.

The result of this new landscape has been a significant shift in power. Once the prey for brands, today’s consumer has a clearer sense of his/her own value and is armed with a smartphone – a mobile ‘weapon’ that evens the playing field – allowing him/her to research and make informed decisions.
Brands, we are eager to introduce you to the conscious consumer. This consumer is the survivor of the last recession, a period which fundamentally altered their behavior by teaching them to live with less expensive products and how to shop smart. These shoppers expect to be rewarded for brand loyalty and they do their homework before swiping their cards.

We looked into the profile of the conscious consumer and conducted research to give brands prescriptive advice on what will resonate for this new shopper. What we found was that consumer purchasing behaviors have shifted so dramatically that it has created an updated hierarchy of needs for brand/consumer relations. This hierarchy demonstrates what the new, conscious consumer require from their brands to convert.

A key finding from the hierarchy is that the new consumer requires brands to address both the short-term (transactional) and long-term (brand value, narrative and motivations) relationships simultaneously. This can be achieved through contextual analysis and location data, both of which afford marketers the opportunity to learn where actual consumers are in their journey to purchase and when they would be most receptive to brand messaging. For example, by leveraging historical location and contextual data, brands can target consumers when they are receptive to longer form messaging and content at home – saving the price/product/promotion messaging for active shopping periods.
The retailers who are succeeding against this new construct have adapted to these changes quickly. They understand that was true of pre-2008 consumers is no longer true and that new habits have been formed. In short, the old retail playbook needs to be thrown out.

Download our new whitepaper here to learn about the new guidelines for retailer/consumer relations.

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