We all seem to be more aware. More than just an interest in global affairs or being nosy about the neighbours, we have access to and are continuously confronted with information that makes us aware of what is happening in the world. Surely this is a good thing?
Having a broad general knowledge is an asset. Reading and watching the news keep you informed and ensure you to be interesting conversation. A quick internet search can give you all the facts you need and social media brings you information – continuously, in real time. We don’t have to look for information anymore, it is there. There is no denying, we are aware.
But what does this awareness mean for your business? How can you use this? Does increased consumer awareness have an influence on purchasing behaviour?
According to a recent report by Wine Intelligence, awareness about sustainable, organic and low alcohol wines have increased significantly, but it is not yet having a fundamental impact on consumer behaviour. Why would that be? Are we aware, but we don’t care? Is it a case of awareness being more theory than practice?
I don’t think so. With today’s technology and availability of data, being aware does not only mean that consumers are aware of the need, it also means that they are aware of the solutions. We recently launched a de-alcoholised wine. We know that there is much more awareness of a healthier lifestyle, not to drink and drive, etc. Launching a product that answers these needs does not only mean putting it on the shelves. There is also an awareness campaign using data to introduce the product to targeted consumers in a variety of ways. If you are aware that you need a no or low alcohol wine, I bet that you are also aware that there are options to choose from.
Again, awareness is unlikely to be the issue. Perhaps it is that we know, but we don’t trust? While formal media can definitely be compromised, it is social media, especially, that is difficult to trust when it comes to being true and rational. We have all seen the damage fake news and emotional social media responses can do. And many of our purchasing prompts these days, do come from social media. Perhaps while outspoken about the latest trends, we are still a bit old school when it comes to acting on them.
If product quality and value are good and marketing and distribution are in place, how can brand owners make the most of awareness? For me, there is at least one learning and that lies in the brand’s image. Is your brand regarded as trustworthy and reliable? Is your communication open and honest? Do your promotional activities ring true? Does it look like you really care or are only in it for the profit? Do you make responsible choices, align with trustworthy influencers?
It is not all about consumers’ awareness of brands, it is also about brands being aware of consumer expectations.
Keeping brands responsible from an environmental and social perspective is a strong consumer trend. Awareness is not only knowing you have to consume less sugar and therefore choose sugar-free. Consumer awareness extends to your brand’s persona, not only its products.