Industry Insights, OnePulse Platform

Get to know your customers


If you’re here because you’re trying to understand your customers better, then you’re exactly where you need to be! After all, half of consumers report feeling a strong connection to a brand who genuinely gets them.

We recently ran Pulses to see how people really feel about the effort brands make to understand them, and what brands can resolve to do better in 2024.

We went straight to the source and asked the community using Multiple Choice Questions, Yes/No Questions, and Rating Scale Questions to quantify hunches. To better understand their real-life experience, we then sought to facilitate an open conversation using open-ended questions. This, by the way, comes with an AI-powered assistant that can analyse and deliver results into a ready-made report, making the process of arriving at an answer significantly easier. 😮‍💨

Get ready to roll up your sleeves and dive into the data. Here’s what we found out…

First things first, how well do brands know their customers?

Not bad, but not great either.  Amongst a sample of 500 Pulsers, almost half (48%) rated brands’ efforts in understanding their customers as mediocre. Only 20% felt that brands were doing a good job, while 28% felt their efforts were poor, suggesting that there is room for improvement.

Which industries shine? And which ones have room to improve?

Hats off to the Food and Beverage industry for being ranked the top industry to understand and cater to the needs of consumers. Personal Care Services, Technology, Hospitality and Entertainment brands also received reasonable recognition.

In contrast, Fashion, Travel and Energy brands didn’t quite measure up.

So, which brand stood out?

Although the fashion industry was generally seen as not prioritising customer understanding, one brand came out on top, Nike.

What are brands doing now that make consumers feel understood?

With the help of OnePulse’s open-text AI anlaysis✨, and some human checking, we discovered the top three reoccuring themes.

Consumers feel understood when brands personalise design and marketing strategies. We also saw that consumers value self-expression and often seek out brands that work to establish a strong and distinctive identity connect with their target market. Brands that personalise towards their consumers create a space where they can see themselves, leading to a sense of understanding and connection.

“They just offered products that were a true representation of my personality.”

Holding social responsibilities 
Consumers appreciate brands that take a stance on social issues, participate in charitable causes and give back to their communities. But consistency is key because, while people increasingly expect brands to champion social causes, they also want unwavering commitment from brands in doing so. As one Pulser highlighted, “[Absolut.] made a stance on social justice issues and didn’t change their stance or back down when pressured & have remained vigilant for 10 years.”

Creating an exceptional experience
Consumers sense a deep understanding from brands when they receive exceptional customer service, one that goes above and beyond to exceed customer expectations. And extra points to those who can also deliver this exceptional experience in the after-sales service. 

“The lifetime warranty was something that I felt like strongly back their quality and dedication to their customers.”

What are some things that consumers currently consider a miss?

Speaking to real people
Consumers say they would feel way more understood if brands actively listen and directly engage with real people, as opposed to relying on trends and influencers. As one respondent emphasised, “Stop using celebrities and influencers altogether. Go to the real customers; the ‘micro-influencers,’ and regular folks.” 

Staying out of politics
While some prefer brands to support social causes, some believe brands should avoid politics and not be influenced by social justice movements or political trends.

Being transparent and open
Today’s consumers connect with brands that share insights into their operations, environmental footprint, and product development. This includes giving consumers more say in product design and informing consumers about the company’s environmental impact. This includes giving consumers more say in product design and informing consumers about the company’s environmental impact.

To sum it all up…

On the occasion of Get To Know Your Customers Day, we wanted to uncover real viewpoints into how people perceive the efforts brands make to understand them and identify actions that brands can take to improve their connection with their customers. Using the OnePulse platform, we set out to measure consumer perceptions and leveraged an open conversation. 

In just two short Pulses, we found that many consumers feel that brands don’t really understand them. There are several ways to show your grasp of your audience, but what grabbed our attention was the wish for brands to deepen their connections by listening to real people and avoiding blindly following trends.

So, are you ready to get to know your customers better? Let’s talk 

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