November 11, 2013 10.01 am This story is over 96 months old

The business that shares wins

Customer input: Building a brand should also involve more sharing with its new and existing customers, explains Lava’s Annie Bowden.

Nine out of 10 people across the globe want brands to share more with them according to Brandshare, a consumer study by PR firm Edelman. Sharing ranges from having more brand transparency, to asking consumers for their thoughts and input.

We work closely with our clients to create and manage brands which do exactly that, because we know sharing encourages consumers to engage with, and ultimately purchase from, a particular brand. We know that listening, and sometimes responding, is vital to build relationships with customers.

Edelman’s research surveyed 11,000 people across eight different countries, measuring six aspects of how brands relate to their customers: shared dialogue, shared experience, shared goals, shared values, shared product and shared history.

Unsurprisingly perhaps, 91% of respondents identified sharing the product as the most important in their purchasing decision, wanting to have a hand in the design and development process.

Openness about product performance was also key, with nine out of 10 people keen to know how products were made and how they compare with competitors. Sharing brand values was also found to be extremely important to consumers, with 92% of people citing this transparency as vital.

The conclusion? Brands that successfully share with their customers are well rewarded as a result – consumers are more likely to buy and recommend a brand with which they have a relationship. If you are looking for some tips on how to build relationships with your customers, check out my Lava colleague, Ed’s last column for some advice.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on brand engagement or how your business approaches consumer relationship management, so do leave me a comment or tweet me @anniebowden.

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Annie Bowden is a PR Manager at Lava, an award-winning marketing communications agency in Lincoln. Specialising in consumer engagement and social strategy, Annie has previously worked in the communications team for the Wildlife Trusts and at Loughborough College.