There was some fascinating research from Communispace revealed last month on DDB’s blog. In essence, the research suggests that today’s consumer, equipped with a level of information that makes it so much easier to make an informed purchase decision, now blames him or herself, as opposed to the brand (retailer or product), in the event of a duff buy.
This make sense to me. It’s easy to see how consumers today feel that there really is no excuse for failing to get to the best, whether that is in terms of price, quality, experience, or whatever is driving purchase. And there are some interesting consequences for brands – especially larger ticker items like high end consumer electronics, cars, even mortgages – which, with this insight in mind, may need to focus more on addressing the post-purchase self-doubt that seems to be a product of today’s shopping environment. Brands that fail to do this may find themselves associated with a sense of disappointment and “could do better,” or, even worse, a feeling of being ripped off.
A.G. Laffley, formerly of P&G talked about the first (in store) and second (at home) moments of truth. I wonder if we need to start thinking of a third period of truth: the time when the initial purchase excitement dies down and the consumer reassesses and, potentially, regrets. Looking forward, social media activity focused on post-purchase sentiment feels like a smart place for brands to focus their loyalty building.