According to a Consumer Reports survey conducted in late 2013, 55 per cent of people who purchased an extended warranty for their cars had not used it during the lifespan of the policy, and those who did use it spent more on the coverage than they saved on repairs. The same applies to many other products, including electronics. Does this mean that extended warranties are a waste of money?
The word consumer often calls to mind the idea of consumerism, which gets a pretty bad rap. Consumerism can lead to unbridled consumption, with its complete disregard for environmental depletion and the impact on anyone who dares to stand in its way. What does a contemplative approach to consumption look like?
Most people who follow these simple steps soon discover they can live on much less. They turn away from consumerism, and lead happier, more focussed lives. They stop being human doings and once again become human beings. Some even discover financial independence. Equally important, their impact on the planet is dramatically reduced. Win, win, win.
With technology easily replicated overnight, corporations truly need to address consumer issues rather than paper over them. Whether it is complaints concerning customer service, product reliability or the overall product or service experience, addressing these issues will be critical to maintaining corporate competitive advantages in the future.
As a marketing professional, there is nothing I hate more than receiving any form of communication (email, Web experience, social media, mobile, whatever) and not see an obvious place where I can either opt out of the communication or protect how much information is being captured. As a consumer, I probably hate it more.
When someone jumps from the edge of space back to earth and it's all supported by one brand, you know you are staring at a winner. Felix Baumgartner's supersonic freefall from 120,000 feet not only broke the speed of sound and a world record to go along with it, it practically broke YouTube as millions upon millions of people watched the drop from space online. And with that event, Red Bull also captured the hearts and minds of marketers all over the world.
It turns out that consumers want one thing: their issues resolved. And, they want it done fast. Faster than fast. The challenge is this: the majority of brands act fast... as fast as they can. Sadly, it's not even close to being fast enough for consumers. Now, brands and consumers are going to have move forward and figure out a way to define what the true speed limits are.
According to Comscore, 40 per cent of Canadians own a smartphone. You would think that brands would be scrambling to establish their mobile presence. Surprisingly, this is not the case. That so few brands have a mobile presence provides a tremendous opportunity for leadership and to be one of the few brands who do mobile well. Here are a few crucial opportunities brands are missing out on by ignoring mobile.
Recently, a very senior marketing professional who works at one of the world's largest corporations was recounting a story of how they saw a postal truck outside of their corporate head offices in Silicon Valley, and every single parcel that was being offloaded from this truck was from Amazon. He thought to himself: "This is the what retail looks like in 2012."