European Brand Expectations: Honesty Matters


Today, European consumers maintain “free relationships” with brands, a bit like in their personal relationships, we learn from the latest study* from Twilio, a customer engagement platform. This reveals that consumers have an emotional connection with 4.75 brands on average, while 25% say they have none. Thus, they are looking for more variety, calling into question the traditional notion of “long-term loyalty” of a brand.

Consumers expect brands to be honest (44%) and trustworthy (41%) – whether it’s a short-term or long-term commitment. This is followed by favorable prices (31%), sustainability (22%) and solid communication (19%). Values aligned with consumers are not as expected as one might think: this asset falls in the ranking and concerns 6% of respondents.

The elements that put off Europeans the most are therefore mainly the lack of reliability (44%) and the lack of communication (30%). Incessant calls and messages also displease (28%).

When they need to contact a brand, 31% of Europeans consider that expertise is an important element – that is, getting a response from a competent person. 24% want to get an answer as quickly as possible while 15% hope to find someone who cares about helping them and who understands their problem.

Marketing tactics that may have undermined consumer confidence include, unsurprisingly, excessive ad targeting, i.e. ads that follow consumers everywhere (45%), inconsistent pricing (39%), and excessive communication (35%). The use of third-party cookies may have put off 33% of respondents.

In France this time, the three main qualities that consumers expect from brands are honesty (41%), good prices (38%) and reliability (31%). Also, they rarely feel valued in their interactions with brands (32%) – only 4% “always” do. The number of brands with which French consumers have an emotional connection is mainly between 1 and 3 (for 36%), and 4 and 6 for 20%.

*The second edition of the Twilio study on the Relationship Economy was carried out among a panel of 6,000 consumers and 1,800 marketers in Europe. Respondents came from the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Spain, the Scandinavian countries (Norway, Finland, Denmark and Sweden) and the Benelux (Netherlands, Luxembourg and Belgium).

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