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A window on the world of the all-powerful consumer.
Mark Fowlestone

Consumers want it all these days. They feel the need to be part of the conversation with a brand, to influence its ethics and to take control of their own health and wellbeing. At the same time they expect more convenience and personalisation, demand total transparency and trust … and, of course, they’re savvy shoppers so they expect keen pricing too! Not too much to ask, is it?

These consumer expectations were explored in a recent talk at the SEC by Multiply’s Dr. Mark Fowlestone, following a wide-ranging longitudinal research study of Britain’s shoppers.

As Dr Fowlestone explained, this increasing expectation from consumers reflects a massive power shift for brands – get it wrong and consumers will let you and the rest of the world know. But understand and work with these paradigm shifts and abundant opportunities will present themselves. 

Dr Fowlestone contended that for many years marketing has simultaneously been brilliant at understanding consumer needs but flagrant through the peddling of “fakery”. “However, consumers have since walked the yellow brick road towards enlightenment” he said, “and power now lies firmly in their hands. As an industry we now have to be upfront, honest and completely in tune. If we’re not, we’ll get exposed and, worse still, miss out on the very real golden opportunities that modern day consumers bring.”


Illustrating his insight by sharing stories from some of the more forward thinking and enlightened brands, Dr Fowlestone made his case that knowing intimately and embracing the customer tightly has never been so essential. “So no lies, half-truths, false dreams and broken promises. The new all-powerful consumer is there to engage with brands that satisfy their needs, speak their language and mirror their ethics.”

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