As technology has improved over the years, so have consumers' expectations. This means what you may have considered to be good customers service five years ago, may not be now. The same goes for promotional products. What your consumers were happy with five years ago is likely to have changed and you need to work hard to meet their ever-changing needs.
Today consumers are believed to be more concerned with the value of products rather than the cost of them. This means that consumers are more likely to invest in products which have an 'attached meaning', meaning they either help a charity or the environment in some way. According to research conducted by PWC in America, 87% of consumers believe that companies should value the community as much as their own business interests.
Another trend which has changed is the empowerment of customers. With more businesses fighting for custom, consumers have more choice over who they 'do' business with. Customers, therefore, expect businesses to be more accessible than before, meaning they expect customer service through various different mediums. For the modern business, contact should be available through at least email and telephone, as well as social media channels. The easier it is to contact a business, the more empowered the customer will feel meaning they are more likely to use the business.
Consumer expectations have also changed when it comes to marketing. Since the revolution of the 'pause and fast-forward' feature on live TV, customers no longer have to sit through a series of adverts in between their favourite television programmes. Similarly, it is possible to just 'look over' adverts in magazines meaning that marketers are finding it harder to target customers.
Even with the use of promotional products, consumers are expecting higher perceived value products as a way of marketing. Whilst smaller businesses can still give away lower cost items, bigger brands are expected to give away items which have a higher value. For example, USB's have become increasingly popular as a giveaway item largely due to this reason.
So, why have consumers expectations changed? We think it's largely due to the recession. Customers are being more careful about where and how they spend their money. They are more likely to support local businesses or businesses who have a greater value for customers. Have a look at these low-cost promotional products that still have higher perceived value.
How do you think these trends will develop into 2014? Do you think that larger brands will continue to use promotional products? Let us know via our social media channels.