Consumers feel misunderstood by brands

Companies are misunderstanding over a third of their costumers, research finds.

A study led by Attest reveals that perfume brands, female clothing and gaming top the list of the biggest offending sectors to wrongly estimate their consumers’ spending habits and desires.

The 2,000-strong survey of UK-based adults aged 18-75 aimed to discover more about consumer attitudes and how Britons feel they are represented by corporate brands.

Respondents were initially asked if they felt they were misunderstood by brands in general, with 35 per cent stating they feel this way. Within this group of misunderstood respondents, the majority at 82 per cent feel as if they are not well represented and are often ignored by big labels.

Following on from this, to find out more about which sectors were seen as the biggest offenders, respondents were provided with a list and were asked to actively rank where and how they feel the most misunderstood as consumers.

The sectors that get it wrong

Perfume companies are ranked by 26 per cent of respondents as the sector most likely to misjudge its customer base, followed by women’s clothing brands (23 per cent), game companies (19 per cent), insurance companies (17 per cent) and make-up brands (10 per cent).

All respondents were then asked by researchers if they had ever previously engaged with brands to give feedback, with only 41 per cent acknowledging they did. These participants were asked ‘Do you feel as if brands listen to customer feedback?’ to which 79 which stated they do not.

Finally, all respondents were asked if they felt brands often resorted in using stereotypes to appeal to consumers, with 92 per cent stating they did. Of this 92 per cent, just under a quarter (23 per cent), feel alienated by the use of stereotypes.

Jeremy King, CEO of Attest says, ‘Until very recently, it’s been quite difficult for brands to actively and regularly engage with their most valued customers, across every demographic and range of preferences.

Everyone is different, and even based on this simple piece of research, it’s worrying how many consumers feel misunderstood and that brands aren’t listening to them.’

Further reading on brands

A guide to developing brand partnerships

Ben Lobel

Ben Lobel

Ben Lobel was the editor of from 2010 to 2018. He specialises in writing for start-up and scale-up companies in the areas of finance, marketing and HR.

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