The folks at Edelman recently released their latest Trust Barometer research. The report is a must read for business leaders, marketers and agency execs everywhere.
The Edelman team has studied trust for nearly 25 years and the annual Edelman Trust Barometer research is a cornerstone to that work. In our current highly polarized and rapidly changing world, it is a full-time job staying current. The Trust Barometer is a magic way to be updated on critical changes to a wide variety of the world’s constituents.
In the latest Trust Barometer, Edelman took a hard look at both Gen Z and the purchase funnel. Gen Z is impacting all aspects of life. This is a group unlike any previous generation and has an outsized impact on values, business, politics and the older generations. The purchase funnel, on the other hand, is an age-old concept that needs updating.
To help marketers and their agencies get the most out of this latest report, we’ve summarized some of the report’s key findings and have provided some recommendations.
Here’s is what we learned!
Consumers feel vulnerable, and brands need to pay attention.
Consumers are feeling threats from literally all directions. Just a sampling of the factors worrying over half of consumers globally include climate change, inflation, global conflict, their health, rights & freedoms and misinformation.
This avalanche of stress provides risk and opportunity to brands. Consumers are looking to place their trust in something, and they often look to business and brands for that safety net.
Trust is a top 3 consideration when buying a brand. Brands that increase a consumer’s sense of safety and security are much more attractive than brands that spark a sense of adventure and thrill seeking. And 71% reported “it is more important to trust brands I buy or use today” than in the past.
Gen Z casts a huge shadow.
The Gen Z impact is changing the face of business globally.
There has been a 7-point increase in people who say that Gen Z has influenced where and how they shop, from 61% to 68%, in just one year. And this impact is even greater on older consumers: there has been an incredible 12-point increase for consumers over the age of 59, and a 9-point increase for consumers between the ages of 43 and 58.
Gen Z also influences consumers’ expectations for a brand’s environmental friendliness, diversity in its advertising, and even diversity of its employees. And notably, Gen Z exhibits the highest need for brand trust. As the Gen Z influence is further realized this need for trust may have a multiplier impact across all generations.
The historic idea of a purchase funnel is limiting.
The Edelman folks have concluded that the purchase funnel does not reflect the modern-day brand-consumer relationship. The funnel is a one-way conversation ending with purchase. 78% of consumers say that they uncover things that attract them to a brand and drive loyalty after the first purchase. This means that the “purchase” is just the beginning of a two-way relationship. The Edelman view is that this relationship is better represented by an infinite loop of interaction and engagement between brand and consumer. Consumers want interaction rather then to be “sold”.
What does this mean to marketers and agencies?
Mercer Island Group’s advice is:
Get your own free copy of the 2023 Edelman Trust Barometer
You can download it here.
and Advertising Age’s 2019 A-List.