Every smart business tries to understand what customers are thinking, and what they’ll do next. This can be especially important when formulating a business plan, or preparing to launch a new product or service. Can you always trust what a consumer says, however? A recent study by BBMG and SustainAbility looks at the disconnect between what consumers say they’ll do, and what they actually do. Here, Justin Cobb reviews the study, and looks at how entrepreneurs can really find out what customers are going to do.
“Gaining a real understanding of customers can give businesses in any sector a boost”, said public speaker and business leader Justin Cobb. “There are many ways to do this, but as this study shows, it’s important to take a holistic approach. Listen to what your customers are saying online and via social media, but compare that to market research results, and face to face communications. This can give you a truer and more complete picture.”
The study was reported by DJS Research. It was based upon an extensive survey that talked to more than 6,000 consumers in the United Kingdom, the United States, Brazil, India, China and Germany. In this way it provides a truly worldwide perspective on how consumers behave, especially important in the global business market that we all operate in today. The survey found that people have green ideals, and call for producers to create more sustainable products, but they’re not prepared to pay more for brands that actually provide this.
In total, 65% of respondents said that they felt a pressure to buy products that were more sustainable and better for the environment, and 66% accepted that it’s important for our generation to consume less in order to create a better future for generations to come. In contrast, 70% said that they didn’t accept that items from more sustainable sources should cost more, while 75% said they would be prepared to buy a sustainable product if it performed better than, or at least as well as, the product that they already use.
“Consumers do care about social responsibility and about green issues, but they are taking a more dispassionate approach to their shopping”, said Justin Cobb. “That’s just one example of the disconnect that can occur. That’s why it’s important to look both at what consumers want, and at how they have acted historically.”
Justin Cobb is an expert on marketing and motivation, and his speaking events have helped businesses nationwide find ways to attract new customers and grow their brand.