The real reason why consumers buy into a brand

September 15, 2017

… And everything you need to know about ‘brand authenticity’.

We know that in a world of counter culture, consumers buy into a story that resonates with them, rather than what they’re simply told to want and like.  One of our favourite stats here at Foresight Factory is that nearly 70% of people are more likely to buy if a brand that reflects their beliefs.  However, from a brand perspective, when it comes to how much and where brands can serve this consumer need, there are two trends Performative Perfection and Pursuit of Real that can act as a guide.

The first speaks to customers’ desire to align their real identities with an aspired sense of self. Facilitating this is social media and the development of technology enabling people to customise their reality via filters and AR. The second is something we’ve written a lot about here on this blog and based on the premise that consumers want to understand themselves better. But why is searching for something meaningful so important? With power very much in the hands of the price-savvy and untrusting consumer, authenticity is somewhat of an existential search for them. And it’s this search for the real that extends to an expectation of the brands that they buy.


Areas of brand authenticity


The next trend in CSR

For brands, CSR can be a tricky path to navigate, especially with watchful eyeballs glued to Twitter ready to blast out 140 characters of criticism at the slightest whiff of suspicion. Interestingly, one of the business questions posed to our account team was ‘what’s the future of CSR?’ and in response, we gave three actionable answers, right here on our blog.


Travel as a way to find oneself

The idea of a punishing journey to self-discovery is rarely appealing. When it comes to luxury, 41% of consumers believe that this can be defined as ‘just having time to relax’. We’ve noticed a rise in slow travel experiences that prioritise the journey over the destination, providing time to reflect and immerse yourself in reflection and wellbeing.


Cultural perceptions of authenticity

In the West, consumers are on the Pursuit of Real but in collectivist societies in Asia, where breaking out of status quo to ‘find yourself’ is not as encouraged, Performative Perfection is how consumers are translating brand authenticity.


Authenticity via emotions and advocacy

Our Director of APAC, Michael Agnew who has penned quite a few posts here, asks the question, ‘can advocacy be bought and still be genuine?’ and ‘how effective is emotional story-telling?’ when it comes to the perception of a brand’s authenticity.


Managing mental wellbeing becomes a social currency

69% of people openly admit to their failings. Is the ability to successfully manage mental wellbeing and focus on quality downtime becoming a valuable form of social currency?


AR and VR

Apps and filters with AR and VR capabilities are helping consumers realise what their nails, eyeshadow or hair could look like in real time. Virtual tutorials like Wow How are aiding in Performative Perfection, as well as helping people to up-skill their makeup techniques.


Christmas, because what other time of the year?

How important is that Christmas spirit when it comes at a hefty price? Consumers are taking advantage of early holiday sales and a variety of other tools to get the best deal out of the festive season, perhaps even risking the sentimental fun of the season in the process. This blog post explores how much authenticity is upheld when budgets are at risk.


Written by Laura Dennehy

I am the Head of Content Solutions at Foresight Factory and am responsible for innovating how we use trends to answer client questions and improving the ways we understand consumers.

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