RESEARCH REPORT

In brief

In brief

  • A survey by Accenture, Barkley and Jeffries explores brand “mindsets” across generations that can be used to drive value and connect with customers.
  • Consumers value authentic brands built through trust, purpose and loyalty.
  • There’s no “one size fits all” when connecting with consumers – brand preference varies by demography, category, mindset and brand lifecycle.


The consumer survey of over 2,800 respondents highlights that today's modern consumer is really the “prosumer” of the future. Rather than simply “consuming” all that a brand offers, they are processing information from multiple sources like communication channels, design characteristics, employee interactions, direct experiences with the brand, and the individual products and services…and then evaluating what the brand means to them.

Companies must shift away from the Golden Rule of Treat others as you want to be treated and move forward the new Platinum Rule. Treat others as they want to be treated.

Contrasting generations

Millennials are collaborative and environmentally-conscious consumers. They are keen to overshare on social media and have an average 12 second attention span. While Generation Z consumers tend to be old souls in young bodies, valuing privacy and are reluctant to take risks, they are also competitive and prioritize equality initiatives. They will only focus for 8 seconds, unless it’s really interesting. There is no longer a “typical” consumer.

Below are the modern mindsets that drive brand value:

Social circle

Conversational and participative

Self

Emotional connection

Innovate

Reinventing

Trusted

Puts consumer needs first

Purpose

Adding good

Accessible

Simplifies my life

Success = agility

Successful modern brands are those who build an authentic purpose for the not-so-typical consumer. Although there is no “one size fits all” approach when it comes to connecting with consumers, the virtuous cycle of trust, purpose and loyalty are valued by all.

Where’s the money?

Accessibility is essential across all categories and brands. It is also crucial for companies to clearly and consistently convey their brand value to build emotional connections with consumers.

The sector makes a difference

For more discretionary categories like personal care and beauty, apparel and fast food restaurants, it is important for companies to invest in consumer experiences and identify the right communication to tell the brand’s story. For household staples, cleaning products and packaged foods, companies should focus on product design to keep the brand top of mind for customers.

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