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October 29, 2014

The French and their brands: a changing relationship

Posted by Luc Malcorps

Emakina.FR and the Odoxa Institute executed an in-depth survey of people in France aged 18 and older. The results indicate the relationship of the French and their brands is changing.

More than 80% of the French rely on their own experience or those of people around them to decide on their purchase.

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The first result speaks volumes about the shift in trust of the French in their brand relationships. The paradigm seems to be moving in the opposite direction: even if the French people still receive plenty of messages from brands they trust, this stream of content no longer is sufficient for them to prescribe to the messages. The quality/price balance is no longer the cornerstone of a choice, but rather a parameter among many others, including the experience with the brand and its products. Our experience and also those of our loved ones are vital.

The brand experience, a central element in the creation of value

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Thanks to digital, brand experiences are omnipresent. The brand image is created through multiple contact points, disrupting our habits, changing our behavior and our embedded reflexes. In their positive digital exchange and sharing habits, the French have truly embraced the notion of recommendation: 87% of the French people do not hesitate to spread the word, when they have lived a “good experience.” They gladly become first class personal ambassadors of the brand and 62% declare they are willing to pay more to relive this type of positive experience.

But in case of a bad experience, the damage is done

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Damage in a customer relationship is not only measured in terms of returned products, sharing or recommendations. In fact, a bad consumer experience has a direct impact on the volume of sales and brand image. 69% of disappointed clients say they will no longer buy products from a brand that lets them down. That’s the kind of response that will alert any professional and marketer.

Projected experience and lived experience?

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Of course image and experience can’t always be fully aligned. But nevertheless it is difficult to ignore the fact that 66% of French people declare they have had a bad experience at a recent purchase.

Why do people in France share positive experiences and recommend brands they trust? They share common values ​​and they want to form communities around these ideas. To be able to rely on your own and shared experience of a brand today carries more weight for a customer than brand image or the simple recommendations made by a salesperson.

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