Published Dec 09, 2021
Michael Worledge, Head of Financial Services Research at Harris Interactive
Across the globe, consumer behaviours and attitudes continue to rapidly evolve. For financial services brands, it’s imperative to stay on top of these changes in order to position themselves—and their products and services—for success in the marketplace.
Consider these findings from Wave 17 of our Global Consumer Barometer, which was fielded between 16th and 21st September. Forty percent of global consumers say they’ve changed the ways that they save and spend money, and 59% say they’re open to trying a new product or service for the first time. When combined, these factors mean that financial services brands must find ways to stay connected with consumers in real-time — or risk falling behind.
This rapid pace of change underscores the need for agile usage and attitude (U&A) tracking. Below, we’ll take a look at findings from our U&A tracking efforts—on a global level and in the UK, specifically—and discuss how leading financial services brands are adapting.
In Wave 17 of our Barometer, we found that consumers are holding brands to high ethical standards. Overall, 88% of global consumers believe that brands should be accountable to them—and it’s not just lip service, either. Eighty-five percent of global consumers say they go out of their way to engage with brands that align with their values. Perhaps even more notably, 53% have stopped supporting brands that don’t.
Which values do consumers care about, specifically? Concerns around health and wellness, poverty, and environmental issues have seen the highest increase since the beginning of the pandemic.
● 58% are more concerned about health and wellness
● 53% are more concerned about poverty
● 50% are more concerned about environmental issues
Ultimately, U&A tracking helps brands understand which values are most important to their consumers in real-time.
To understand changes in usage and attitude in financial services, we surveyed UK consumers on the topics of retail banking and car insurance. The surveys, which were fielded on October 8, revealed that consumers are very much open to change.
In retail banking, 39% of UK adults say they will consider switching banks in the next 12 months. What are they looking for from potential new providers? Understandably, the security of products (87%) and protection of personal data (86%) are the most significant factors, but the availability of internet banking (82%) is close behind.
In the realm of car insurance, UK consumers are looking for more flexibility due to evolving vehicle usage patterns. Thirty-two percent of consumers say they’re still just making essential journeys in their car, and only 50% of consumers believe they will drive to work most days in the future; that’s down from 63% prior to the pandemic. As a result, 22% of UK consumers say they’re more interested in usage-based car insurance.
Today’s leading brands are tracking consumer behaviour more frequently and in more agile ways. With short, repeatable, flexible questionnaires that are tailored to the specifics of your sector, you can anticipate changes and drive business for your brand. Some of the key business drivers and decision-making insights from U&A tracking include:
● Current and future usage patterns for products, services, and brands. This includes expected versus actual usage, new trials, and switching
● Consumers’ needs, motivations, and obstacles when choosing products, services, and brands
● How consumers are accessing/purchasing products and services
● The impact of brand values and social, economic, and environmental responsibility considerations on performance
● Brand strengths and weaknesses
● A wealth of profiling information that can be analysed to place findings in context
Many of our clients have used U&A tracking to monitor consumer sentiment and behaviour over the past year. Download our eBook to learn how you can fuel your own brand’s success with an agile approach to U&A tracking.