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9pc of US consumers trust text messages from brands: Forrester

March 25, 2013


Just 9 percent of U.S. consumers trust text messages from marketers, while 12 percent trust information on mobile applications, according to a new report by Forrester Research.

In the “How to build your brand with branded content” report, Forrester uncovered that U.S. and European consumers trust recommendations from other consumers more than brand promotions, especially digital promotions. This means that brands should look to build their brand campaigns with more authenticity and emotion.

“The most surprising finding was the difference in the trust placed in self-selected content such as reviews and natural search versus digital push communications such as banner ads and text messages,” said Tracy Stokes, principal analyst at Forrester, Boston.

“Branded content cannot be an afterthought,” she said. “Marketers need a systematic approach to help build their brand.”

The “How to build your brand with branded content” report gathered information from 57,499 online adults ages 18 and older in the U.S. and 15,654 online adults in Europe during the second and third quarters of 2012.

Untrustworthy communications

The majority of both U.S. and European consumers are not trusting of digital brand promotions, according to the market researcher's findings.

These consumer groups trust brand and product recommendations from their friends and family the most, with 70 percent of European and 61 percent of U.S. consumers reporting this behavior.

Fifty-five percent of consumers in the U.S. trust professionally written online reviews, while only 33 percent of Europeans do.

The numbers slightly drop when trusting consumer-written online reviews.

Forty-six percent of U.S. and 38 percent of European consumers trust other consumers' opinions in reviews online.

However, consumers are generally distrustful of brand’s digital communications.

Fifteen percent of consumers in the U.S. and 10 percent of Europeans trust brands’ social media.

Mobile seems to be the least trustworthy medium as only 12 percent of U.S. and 10 percent of European consumers trust information on mobile apps, while 9 percent of U.S. and 8 percent of European consumers trust text messages.

In general, Europeans trust all advertising communications less than U.S. consumers.

Building trust

Although it seems that consumers are untrusting of brand’s communication efforts, there have been some brands that have succeeded with certain tactics.

The emotional aspect in a branding campaign can help it build consumer trust.

“Emotion is a key element of luxury brands,” Ms. Stokes said. “Think about the story you want to tell and how it will help your brand become more unmistakable.

“For example, Chanel No. 5’s Inside Chanel video series hearkens back to its iconic association with Marilyn Monroe, but provides its consumers with unique content that they have not heard or seen before,” she said.

Chanel invites consumers to learn the intimate history of its N°5 fragrance through a video featuring Marilyn Monroe that is the second chapter of its Inside Chanel videos.

“Marilyn and N°5″ video

The widely-known quote by Ms. Monroe about her only wearing Chanel N°5 to bed is the theme of the video (see story).

Luxury marketers should strive to build their brand through engaging content that is also authentic.

“Branded content is a powerful tool to help build a brand, by bridging the gap between TV’s emotive power and digital’s efficient reach,” Ms. Stokes said.

“Marketers can use branded content to build a T.R.U.E. brand,” she said.

T.R.U.E. stands for a brand that is trusted, remarkable, unmistakable and essential, per Ms. Stokes.

Brands also have to remain authentic in all of their communications to see successful campaigns.

“[Brands] must be guided by their North Star to be authentic and grounded in customer insight to be provide visible value,” Ms. Stokes said.

Final take

Erin Shea, editorial assistant on Luxury Daily, New York