Consumers want brands to go well beyond the core product or service to inform, inspire and advocate, according to a new survey conducted by Meyocks, a branding and marketing agency.
The Meyocks survey of 1,127 Americans shows widespread support for “mentor branding.” While brands have traditionally been differentiated based on functional benefits or a distinctive experience, mentor branding provides differentiation by educating and advocating for customers and inspiring them to make their lives better.
“Mentor branding is an opportunity for businesses to create stronger bonds with customers,” said Doug Jeske, president of Meyocks.
The Meyocks national consumer survey showed:
- 88% of consumers say brands should provide valued-added information to their customers.
- 74% of consumers believe brands should work to inspire customers.
- 75% of consumers think brands should advocate for their customers.
“Consumers feel strongly that brands should demonstrate mentorship characteristics,” Jeske said. “What’s more, brands that rate high in these characteristics enjoy stronger revenue growth.”
While interest in mentor branding crosses generational lines, it’s even more pronounced among younger generations. For example, inspiration and advocacy are even more important to Gen Zers and Millennials.
Brands and Stands
More than half of consumers (56%) say brands should take stands on issues important to them and to their customers. That belief is even stronger among Gen Zers (82%) and Millennials (65%). It’s also more pronounced among consumers in urban areas (70%) and those living the Western U.S. (63%).
“Of course, taking a stand involves risks as the recent Bud Light example demonstrates,” Jeske said. “While 38% of consumers say they choose brands based on their advocacy, just under half of consumers (46%) say they will stop buying a brand when it does not align with their beliefs.
“Taking a stand involves commitment and a true understanding of one’s customers,” Jeske said.
The Meyocks consumer survey was conducted nationwide via an online panel with 1,127 Americans age 18 and over. For results based on the total sample of American adults, the margin of error is ±2.9 percentage points at a 95% confidence level.