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27 July 2022
Companies face a ‘crisis of relevance’
SustainabilityEnvironmental & social issuesConsumer sentiment
The vast majority (88%) of executives believe that customers and employees are changing faster than they can change their businesses, which is leading to a crisis of relevance, according to a new report* from Accenture.
Why it matters
Two-thirds of consumers expect companies to understand and address their changing needs during times of disruption, but six in ten also say priorities keep changing because of external pressures and, as a result, they are perpetually in multiple stages of crisis management, with paradoxical behaviours emerging.
Marketers, meanwhile, are frequently guilty of underestimating the impact of those external pressures and of relying on oversimplified segmentation models. They need to start viewing people as evolving individuals rather than as walking wallets, to move away from customer centricity and start thinking in terms of “life centricity”.
What customers want
Customers are prioritizing themselves but want to effect change for others. Even as up to 66% of consumers say their decision-making is driven by their own needs, some 72% of consumers feel they can personally impact the world and their communities through behaviours and buying choices. For example, a consumer will select a one-hour delivery for sustainable products.
Customers want to follow their personal values but not at the expense of financial value. More than half of consumers say the pandemic motivated them to adopt a more sustainable lifestyle, but up to 65% say price increases have led them to select lower-cost brands on recent purchases. For example, a consumer will seek to buy ethically farmed, sustainable beef but select the cheaper option, particularly in this inflationary environment.
Customers want to be in control of their fate but also want to be guided to it. Though over three-quarters (76%) of customers feel empowered to make key decisions in their life, nearly two-thirds (64%) wish that companies would respond faster with new offerings to meet their changing needs. For example, a consumer wants to feel like they are making their own decision on which product to buy but is also comfortable going with what’s recommended to them.
“‘Life-centric’ businesses see customers differently; understand external forces affecting their decision-making and provide valuable solutions for their needs in a simple and profound way” – David Droga, chief executive officer and creative chairman, Accenture Song.