70% of brands useless, report claims

If marketing is about selling a dream, have consumers finally woken up? …

A majority of consumers would be perfectly happy if 70% of brands disappeared, according to new research from Havas, a media buying group. The survey, which polled 50,000 consumers in 14 markets, aimed to chart the extent to which consumers felt brands had a “meaningful impact” on their lives. Factors such as health, happiness, values, financial security, society and the environment were considered. In developed markets, the perceived impact was minimal: consumers in the US said only 5% of brands positively expanded their quality of life. In Europe that figure was 8%. In developing markets, brands had a higher resonance, with 30% of brands in Latin America deemed meaningful to consumers. The report said that “positioning brands as socially responsible” had a “moderate impact” on consumer sentiment towards the brand.

Comment: Havas comes to the conclusion that the marketing isn’t working and better investment is needed. That’s to be expected, since Havas sells media. I think there are conclusions to be reached in addition to this. If traditional marketing is based on selling a dream, it looks to me as though consumers have woken up. Either: the reality fell short of the myth, or: there’s a dwindling appetite for myth at a time when hard realities are coming knocking for an increasing number of consumers. Either way, the revelation that consumers have no time for 70% of brands will be welcome news to retailers and their private label partners.

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