- Singaporeans possess an unspoken stigma over locally produced goods, preferring foreign brands
- The value of ‘local’ is tied more to actions than provenance
- If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem
- Transparency is essential to trust
- What’s being said about brand online has the potential to elevate it or send it spiraling into oblivion
What should brands worry about when they are dealing with consumers in a digitised world? When online shopping is an opportunity, when the number of choices to consumers is unprecedented and when all players are working on sweetening the pot, what are some of the areas for brands to focus on as they try to build their proposition.
In an attempt to answer some of these questions, a global study from Havas Worldwide, ‘Building Brands that Matter: The Sweet Spot Between Trust and Dynamism’, explores the critical factors at play in brand success and consumer engagement. Tracking factors such as transparency, innovation, authenticity, utility and sociability, the white paper identifies what people around the world truly value in their relationship with brands. The study brings out some interesting aspects in its local observations of Singapore.
Trust and Dynamism: The Singapore Perspective
Unlike global counterparts who are more inclined to buy products manufactured in their own countries, Singaporeans possess an unspoken stigma over locally produced goods, preferring foreign brands because of their perceived superiority. In short, it is observed that young local brands generally have to fight harder to earn trust while long-established brands have to do more to drive dynamism.
This situation makes for the perfect test-bed for future insights into any young and developing country, and to help guide consumer preference for any brand.
Several top line findings were made on the attitudes of Singaporeans:
•The value of ‘local’ is tied more to actions than provenance
Having a positive presence in local communities is an important factor in building a brand’s reputation, say 79 per cent of Prosumers and 73 per cent mainstream consumers.
•If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem
81 per cent of Prosumers and 71 per cent of mainstream consumers believe that businesses bear as much responsibility as governments for driving positive social change. It’s increasingly unacceptable to operate solely in service to one’s profits.
•Transparency is essential to trust
85 per cent of Prosumers and 71 per cent of mainstream consumers say it is important to them that companies operate transparently, letting consumers and others know what they are doing.
• What’s being said about your brand online has the potential to elevate it to the next level—or send it spiraling into oblivion
Online customer reviews (86 per cent) and comments on social networks (81 per cent) are more convincing than any advertising (78 per cent) or what employees say about it (78 per cent).
“Our study reveals a powerful insight about brand strength: It is based on what people believe about where your company is headed and the value you will provide to society along the way. Truly dynamic brands—those that are authentic, purposeful, sociable and useful—will be the ones that engage consumers and win their loyalty,” said Sarita Bhatt, Director of Global Strategy at Havas Worldwide.