Consumers Want to Feel Appreciated by Brands

February 6, 2023

Messaging is a “key differentiator” in consumers’ perceptions of brands, and brands that prioritize building relationships and adding relevance to their messaging are more likely to be viewed as preferred, according to a new study [download page] from Marigold (previously CM Group). The report’s results indicate that consumers’ desire to be given the royal treatment by brands is increasing.

Looking at how “best-in-class” brand are communicating with their customers, the research finds that 86% of consumers favor a brand’s messaging that provides a consistent customer experience, the broadest consensus among the various messaging options listed.

Beyond that, though, there are indications of consumers elevating brands when they themselves feel elevated. For example, 82% favor a brand’s messaging that rewards them for their loyalty (up from 78% last year), while an equal 82% favor a brand’s messaging that treats them like an individual (up from 74%). Additionally, about 8 in 10 (79%) favor messaging that strives to develop a relationship (up from 71%), and 72% welcome messaging that surprises them with rewards they don’t expect (up from 64%).

Perhaps most tellingly, the biggest increase from last year in favorability was for messaging that treats consumers like a VIP. Some 69% say that they favor such communications this year, up 19% from 58% who said the same last year.

As such, while a consistent customer experience is the key to effective communications, more consumers are displaying a wish to be surprised with rewards and treated like VIPs.

Brand Loyalty

It’s important for brands to be careful with their communication frequency: a slight majority (53%) of respondents described their relationship with their favorite brands as that the brand only “communicates as when necessary.” Overdoing it has long been the chief complaint with brand emails and the leading reason for unsubscribes.

The good news is that brands appear to be getting it right. Roughly three-quarters of respondents say they receive about the right amount or would like more messaging about personalized treats (77%), loyalty programs (75%) and VIP offers (73%).

Beyond message frequency, there are other pitfalls to be aware of: about half (49%) feel frustrated when they receive irrelevant content or offers, and roughly 4 in 10 (41%) are frustrated by messaging that doesn’t reflect their wants and needs.

This ties back to a sense of relationship that consumers seem to be expressing with respect to brands. Elsewhere in the report, results indicate that 57% of respondents think their favorite brand working hard to build a relationship with them is important or critically important.

But when it comes to losing loyalty (which a third of consumers reporting having experienced with a favorite brand in the past year), nothing is more of a culprit than quality. With quality being the key lever in brand loyalty, it’s no surprise that the top reason consumers have switched away from a favored brand is due to the quality of its products/services.

For more, download the report here.

About the Data: The results are based on a survey of 6,833 consumers across eight countries (Australia, France, Japan, New Zealand, Republic of Ireland, U.K., U.S. and Spain).


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