Londoners represent a new kind of consumer that is more demanding of brands and organisations today than ever before, according to a new report from Accenture Strategy.
Nearly 90 per cent of Londoners are quicker to retract loyalty from brands today compared to three years ago, and 64 per cent have switched provider in the past year alone (compared to just 50 per cent in the rest of the country). Londoners are ditching retailers (29 per cent), banks (22 per cent) and internet service providers (20 per cent) the most. The overall cost of customers switching providers in the UK alone is £235bn.
Accenture Strategy’s Global Consumer Pulse Research surveyed 25,426 consumers around the world, including 337 Londoners, about their relationship with brands today. It identified five new ‘languages of loyalty’ that influence customer relationships and drive brand loyalty in the digital age, beyond a good price and service.
The report found a stronger demand from Londoners for the following types of experiences that drive brand loyalty compared to the rest of the UK:
1. ‘Tokens of affection’ – 62 per cent of Londoners feel loyal to brands that present them with small tokens of affection, such as personalised discounts, gift cards and special offers to reward their loyalty, compared to 54 per cent of the rest of the country.
2. ‘Get to Know Me’ – 73 per cent of Londoners respond well to brands that are there when they need them, but otherwise leave them alone. 46 per cent are loyal to brands that offer the opportunity to personalise products to create something that is bespoke to them, compared to 34 per cent across the UK.
3. ‘Thrill seeker’ – 48 per cent are loyal to brands that actively engage them to help design or co-create products or services, compared to 37 per cent in the rest of the country. 41 per cent are influenced by brands that engage them in ‘multi-sensory’ experiences, using new technologies such as virtual reality or augmented reality, compared to 27 per cent elsewhere in the UK.
4. ‘If you like it, I like it’ – 35 per cent are loyal to brands that partner with celebrities compared to 19 per cent in the rest of the country, and another 34 per cent feel loyal to brands that partner with social influencers, such as bloggers and vloggers, compared to just 18 per cent elsewhere in the UK. Likewise, 46 per cent are loyal to brands that support shared causes, such as charities or public campaigns, compared to 35 per cent across the UK.
5. Hook me up’ – 48 per cent feel loyal to brands that connect them with other providers, giving them the ability to exchange loyalty points or rewards, compared to 37 per cent in the rest of the country.
Rachel Barton, Managing Director of Advanced Customer Strategy at Accenture Strategy, said: “Every consumer has a natural instinct around what makes them ‘stick’ to a brand. Londoners in particular don’t just want a great product or service at a good price, they expect brands to heartily invest in rewarding and creative experiences. Essentially, they want the sizzle and the steak. With 63 per cent of Londoners spending more with the brands they love, companies that stick to traditional approaches and don’t explore the new drivers influencing loyalty risk draining profitability and pushing customers away – even when they have the best intentions.”