To say that times have changed in the past decade when it comes to the world of marketing would be a complete understatement. In fact, Google highlights how consumer behavior has shifted dramatically over the years in its latest Think With Google update. Over the years, along with the growing influence of social media, consumers have been a lot more socially conscious and aware of their surroundings. The change in this behavior and attitude towards the brands and the products people will choose to purchase is so drastic that Google has deduced that, more often than not, the success of a brand will depend on whether or not they are keen on practicing inclusivity.
So, how exactly do modern-day consumers choose among which brands to support? What are some of their expectations from companies who want to thrive in this day and age?
Google tells us all about it in this latest update.
This holds true especially for those brands who seek to enter diverse pools of audiences for their market. Del Johnson, a principal at Backstage Capital, a venture capital firm with an investment total of $5M to companies that are founded by either women, members of the LGBTQ+ community and people of color, said the following:
With that being said, we must keep in mind that consumers nowadays are getting even smarter. To put it plainly, they’ll know when a brand is merely talking the talk versus actually walking the walk.
First and foremost, people expect brands to be inclusive. Gone are the days where companies would get away with marketing only to a specific race, ethnicity, gender or even body type. Sure, you can still do it if you choose to, but if you do, be prepared for a slew of backlash against your brand — especially in the social media sphere.
One example of this is the brand Brandy Melville, an Italian based clothing brand that markets its clothes as a ‘one size fits all’ type of garment. But as people found out, they really only fit up to possibly a US size 6 and anything over that would not look as flattering on a woman’s body. Because of this, over the past few years and since it has blown up in the US, the company has been receiving a lot of criticism from influencers on different platforms.
In this particular update, the writer Shelley Zalis, who is also the CEO of a women-owned business called “The Female Quotient” conducted a survey involving 3,000 US consumers with various profiles and backgrounds. A whopping 64% of the respondents said they are more likely to act after seeing an ad that would be considered highly inclusive.
To further reinforce the points mentioned, here are more facts that have come up from the survey that Google and Ipsos conducted:
In line with this, this update also touches on the fact that people are more likely to purchase things from relatable ads. At the end of it all, what matters is being genuine. Not only are the majority of consumers more enticed to buy products from advertisements that show a range of diverse individuals, but the most effective ads are also those that mirror consumers in a genuine way with positive reflections.
If you speak to your audience in a genuine way and not attempt to cast out certain facets of society, then it will translate well with your brand. The most celebrated companies right now are those who take everyone into consideration, because let’s face it, who doesn’t want to be represented well in the media?
Want more updates from Google? Check out our array of informative Think with Google content.