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Consumers Have Little Patience For Brands

Tamara E. Holmes
Consumers Have Little Patience For Brands

Brand loyalty may one day be a thing of the past, as consumers seem to be losing trust in retailers and shunning brands that don’t meet their expectations, a newly published survey shows.

To gauge public sentiment about brands, business software company Oracle teamed up with customer experience expert Jeanne Bliss to survey 1,143 adults, with respondents split more or less evenly among Generation Z, millennials, Generation X and baby boomers. Researchers discovered that most consumers have little patience when retailers mess up, and that brand representatives are among the least trusted sources when people look for shopping recommendations.

An overwhelming 82% of respondents said they’ve had a disappointing experience with a brand, while 78% said that, at some point, they’ve been dissatisfied with customer service that they’ve received.

But consumers aren’t taking their frustrations lightly. Most — 88% — share their bad experiences with others, including 59% who tell their friends and family about their disappointment. Nearly half (43%) said they’ve blacklisted a retailer after a bad experience, and 34% said they would never give a company a second chance.

However, younger consumers appeared to be more forgiving, with 80% of Gen Z respondents (defined here as those aged 18 to 24) saying they would be willing to try a brand again despite a disappointing experience. In fact, the older the respondent, the less likely they were to feel this way, the study found.

While consumers may be quick to share their displeasure with friends and family, they are less likely to contact the company to air their grievances. Only 35% said they would reach out to the brand to give them the opportunity to rectify the problem.

Not only are consumers generally unforgiving when dealing with brands, but they’re also less trusting of brands in the first place. Among respondents, 77% said they would trust their family members for shopping recommendations, while 75% said they would trust their friends, and 38% would trust their colleagues. In contrast, only 12% said they would trust a company employee they engaged with online for shopping recommendations.

Consumers also aren’t moved by influencers and celebrities who may be hawking products for retailers. Only 14% of respondents said they trust influencers or bloggers for recommendations, while 7% trust celebrities, and just 2% trust politicians.

Consumers are just as wary of technology-driven marketing. A whopping 92% said they didn’t trust recommendations from online messaging pop-ups, 89% said they distrusted shopping advice from voice-activated services like Siri, and 81% said they didn’t trust mobile ads.

Consumers have a lot of options when choosing which brand to spend their money on, and there are ways to make shopping decisions that are best for your wallet. For example, your credit card may offer a cross-brand loyalty rewards program you can take advantage of.

Some credit cards can also help you by offering price protection — with this benefit, when you find something you just bought at a lower price elsewhere, the card will refund you the difference in cost.

By using strategies for discounts and protects, you can get a better shopping experience, no matter which brand you buy.