Recently, we came upon a Forbes article analyzing data from a June 2020 IBM study into the minds and motivations of buyers in 2020. In the study, IBM laid out a striking new paradigm in how buyers go about choosing products. Over 80% of respondents split evenly between two distinct groups: value-driven buyers who want good bargains, and values-driven buyers who want products that align with their philosophical or political beliefs.
From the research, you can derive seven key factors which are most important to buyers in general – but are not necessarily all important to any one buyer. This creates a contradictory situation where a business may be trying to hit multiple targets at once, or may even have to choose between different buyer groups in terms of who they cater to.
So, we wanted to break down those seven factors, and how they may influence your product development and marketing going forward.
Seven Key Attributes Your Buyers May Be Looking For
For an overview, there are:
- The Essential Attributes – Simplicity, Affordability, and Safety,
- The Aspirational Attributes – Desirability, Sociability, and Sustainability,
- Plus the attribute of Purpose, which straddles the two other sets.
The Essential Attributes are clear enough. The economy is not doing particularly well this year, due to the coronavirus, political instability, and other factors. Many analysts and investors expect the economy to get worse before it gets better. This has led to numerous buyers who are looking for safe, affordable products which meet their needs without being over-complicated (and therefore more expensive.)
On the other side, the Aspirational Attributes don’t necessarily only involve high-end buyers, although there would be more of those. Desirability still influences many purchasing decisions, but impulses to buy highly-desired products are still tempered by a competing desire for sustainable industry and economics. Likewise, sociability often implies the ability to share products between people. In other words, even aspirationally-minded buyers are likely to be socially conscious.
Finally, there’s the X-factor: Purpose. This does not refer to the utilitarian purpose of the product, but to higher values-driven purposes: What is the company trying to accomplish? How will this product help me achieve my larger goals?
Purpose, therefore, is largely defined by branding and positioning. Companies can create the perception of purpose for their brand, but in doing so, they will have to make some hard choices about where they stand, and which ideas they support. These are politically polarized times, and people are clustering into like-minded groups based on social, philosophical, or political beliefs. Further, neutrality is not considered desirable by a growing number of buyers.
Knowing Your Audience And Buyers Is Key To Standing Out In 2020-21
In short, brands will face an uphill battle if they try to be noncommittal, or to be “all things to all people.” The brands which will do best are those who know their target market, and look to focus on those attributes listed above which are most relevant to that audience, while also taking firm stances on issues that audience cares about.
This can only be successfully accomplished with deep knowledge of your buyers, and coordinated messaging across all outlets and channels. LogicBay can help make this happen! Our suite of tools, as well as our free FUSE platform, provide vital lines of communication, collaboration, and education which are necessary to keep your entire operation on the same page.