July 14, 2009 | Suzana Ourique

The digital consumers and their relationships with brands

An article published in Millward Brown’s Newsletter tells about a study with the digital consumers, done by BrandZ (a great study of brands). The major finding of their latest report is that digital consumers have stronger relationships with brands. They basically compared digital consumers with non-digital consumers, across countries, categories and brands, and found out that digital consumers have an average of 15% stronger relationship with a brand.

They analysed that the digital consumers like more brands than the non-digital ones. A higher relationship is perceived through the different categories. For airlines, for instance, it’s where it varies more: brands are 93% stronger here. And it is very true, since nowadays most of the acquisitions in this area are made online – where all the low cost services and companies like Easy Jet are. If anyone is asked to list some webs they commonly check for vacation planning, there are far more options than if you have to list offline travel agencies. But even for hair care, a category not so used to be in the world wide web (people usually prefer to see and smell products before buying them), there’s an 8% of more strength among digital consumers.

The researches believe there’s a “digital branding circle” happening nowadays, in where people are more interested in brands, that’s why they do more digital research and, by buying what they’ve researched, they increase their knowledge and interest about the brand. With this, the relationship gap between both types of consumers widens.

The study also reveals that Japan and Taiwan are the countries with the highest average digital relationship differences. They say that this is expected in countries with a higher internet penetration, as well as more informed consumers. But sometimes there are countries, like India, that have a small number of digital consumers, but they are quite advanced.

For BrandZ, a digital consumer is defined as “someone who has either bought or researched that category online”. So they mean that every individual can be a digital consumer in some categories, but not in others. They also mention that, because digital consumers know a lot about what they consume, they are good transmitters of information on the categories they like. And this kind of people is more likely to be younger, male, affluent and creative.

They recommend that brand managers examine brands with the strongest relationships within the category. And then, check for example the online advertising spent amount and visibility, to analyse if there are opportunities for future new digital consumers.

Suzana Ourique

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Suzana Ourique |

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