A Return to Core Values in Marketing: Challenging the Consumer Crisis Turned Confidence Crisis



Blake Landau
07/15/2009

In this podcast, John Gerzema examines why trust in brands has significantly dropped in the recent years.

According to branding phenomenon John Gerzema, the best brands today communicate excitement, dynamism and creativity. So what do companies such as Pixar, Wikipedia, Adidas and the iPhone have that others don’t? We asked Gerzema how he collected and analyzed the data to compile a chart of the highest performing brands today. What he found was sobering: The amount of trust customers place in a brand today is a ghost of what it was more than 10 years ago.

What was a consumer crisis has become a confidence crisis. Gerzema’s research shows a trust virus that has affected a myriad of products and services. There is a sea of change in customer behavior, with a return to bedrock values and ways of living. Customers are forcing reappraisal on their lives and the shift is now on liquidity and saving cash. Companies need to find new ways to connect!

According to Gerzema, customers are moving from anxiety to action—and companies need to figure out how they will approach this post-crisis consumerism. Did you know that currently 68 percent of Americans carry a library card? American optimism has been rocked by what is perceived to be a lack of a safety net. Customers have settled into an era of hardship and challenge, and people are being more self reliant and resourceful. The new customer is selectively seeking quality to make things last; and smart marketers are leveraging "durable living," or products that offer future utility.

Are you focusing on empathy and respect, or have you engendered a relationship with your consumer? In this podcast interview with John Gerzema, leave your platitudes at the door, and find out how your brand can communicate a message of authenticity, energy and trust.

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