Jim Nail, Principal Analyst
A great product is no longer sufficient to guarantee strong sales and loyal customers. Today’s empowered consumers not only reject corporate irresponsibility but also seek brands that proactively promote beliefs and values aligned with their own. In fact, some 52% of US consumers factor values into their purchase choices.
In a previous episode with Anjali Lai, we explored the emergence and impact of the value-based consumer and why brands need to take a stand on the social and political issues of the day — being neutral is no longer an option.
We build on that discussion with Forrester Principal Analyst Jim Nail and consider how brands can operate in a climate in which:
- Consumers can act like watchdogs — a role traditionally taken by regulators — outing real or perceived violators based on the information available or their antagonism to the brand.
- Brands are held accountable to deliver on the brand promise — not simply in tone and tenor but also in past and present actions and behaviors.
In this episode, Jim recommends brands do three things to address this tricky climate: 1) perform an audit to connect their products and operational reality to the brand promise; 2) strive for radical transparency to address consumers’ desire to know more (or investigate in the absence of information); and 3) act based on a materiality matrix that identifies the overlap of your natural strengths and the passions of your customer base to lessen the volatility and guesswork of responding to consumer demands to take a stand.