You are on page 1of 19

For B2C Marketing Professionals

The Values-Based Consumer


A Technographics® 360 Report Using Survey, Social Listening, And Qualitative Data

by Anjali Lai
April 6, 2017

Why Read This Report Key Takeaways


Consumer decision making is changing: Consumers Demand Transparency On
Shoppers increasingly evaluate products and Company Values And Practices
brands based on a company’s ethics and Overall, consumers are becoming more
values. Empowered customers, marked by conscious of social impact, are generating more
their sophisticated digital behavior, online social dialogue about company ethics and values,
resourcefulness, and drive to do business with and are evaluating brands’ commitment to certain
emotionally enriching companies, demand beliefs or causes when making purchases.
transparency around company values and
Company Values Spark Different Consumer
have thus created a new dimension for brand
Behaviors Across Industries
competition. Here, we apply Forrester’s
When evaluating products like food, household
Technographics 360 methodology to distill
items, electronics, and financial products/
when, why, and how company values sway US
services, consumers are likely to tune into brand
consumers’ purchase choices.
values and vote with their wallets; travel brands
that advocate specific values can expect to drive
consumer buzz rather than loyalty.

Brand Values Drive Shoppers Because They


Are Seeking Emotional Fulfillment
Shoppers who buy from brands with matching
commitments and values don’t just feel good
about their purchases — they experience a
deeper sense of connection, personalization, and
validation.

forrester.com
For B2C Marketing Professionals

The Values-Based Consumer


A Technographics® 360 Report Using Survey, Social Listening, And Qualitative Data

by Anjali Lai
with Reineke Reitsma, Theresa Pappafotopoulos, Jim Nail, Henry Peyret, Xiaotong Duan,
and Rachel Birrell
April 6, 2017

Table Of Contents Related Research Documents


2 The Values-Based Consumer Creates A New Align With Consumers’ Values To Win Their
Dimension Of Competition Hearts And Wallets

Consumers Increasingly Factor Company The Rise Of The Empowered Customer


Values Into Their Purchase Choices
The Value Of Company Values
The Impact Of Company Values Varies Based
On Consumers’ Sensitivity And Choice

This Shift In Consumer Thinking Means New


Risks — And Opportunities — For Brands

7 Use Consumer Context And Emotional


Needs To Resonate Effectively

Not All Values Inspire The Same Sentiment

Consumers’ Evaluation Of Company Values


Affects Some Industries More Than Others

Consumers Ultimately Want Purposeful And


Meaningful Brand Relationships

Recommendations
11 Act On Company Values To Win Consumer
Minds And Market Share

12 Supplemental Material

Forrester Research, Inc., 60 Acorn Park Drive, Cambridge, MA 02140 USA


+1 617-613-6000 | Fax: +1 617-613-5000 | forrester.com
© 2017 Forrester Research, Inc. Opinions reflect judgment at the time and are subject to change. Forrester®,
Technographics®, Forrester Wave, TechRadar, and Total Economic Impact are trademarks of Forrester Research,
Inc. All other trademarks are the property of their respective companies. Unauthorized copying or distributing
is a violation of copyright law. Citations@forrester.com or +1 866-367-7378
For B2C Marketing Professionals April 6, 2017
The Values-Based Consumer
A Technographics® 360 Report Using Survey, Social Listening, And Qualitative Data

The Values-Based Consumer Creates A New Dimension Of Competition


From Kellogg’s to L.L. Bean, ubiquitous and once universally loved brands are now polarizing.1 It might
seem like this is a burst of consumer reaction that will subside just as quickly as it appeared to explode
onto us, but we spotted indications of the coming storm years ago. Our consumer data reveals that
this shift in awareness, attitude, and behavior has been a long time in the making. Today, consumers
explicitly consider company values such as employment and manufacturing practices, political and
social stances, and commitment to certain causes or beliefs when choosing products to buy or brands
to associate with.

But companies aren’t yet ready to tackle this new influence on consumer decision making. Our data
shows that companies may know their values but don’t always live up to them.2 And nearly half of B2B
and B2C companies are still struggling to design experiences that align with customer emotions and
convey empathy.3 Here, we help firms understand where, why, and how values have an impact on their
customers’ purchase choices.4

Consumers Increasingly Factor Company Values Into Their Purchase Choices

In the age of the customer, consumers are empowered by their growing willingness to experiment
with new brands and products, sophisticated device usage, refined social media navigation skills,
and expectation that they will get the most emotionally enriching customer experiences.5 While
companies have always seen corporate values as foundational in the form of a mission statement or
CSR department, increasingly empowered consumers now have the resources and motivation to learn
how companies act according to those values across contexts.6 Customers now believe that company
values go beyond a tagline and are reflected in everything a firm does or says — from its hiring
practices to strategic partnerships to advertising tone.7

›› Consumers are becoming more sensitive to social issues overall. General awareness of social
impact has increased in recent years. In 2014, 28% of US online adults regularly followed politics
online, while 25% frequently followed news from the science community; by 2016, those numbers
had grown to 32% and 30%, respectively. And 42% of US online adults self-identified as being
environmentally conscious in 2014; 52% did so by 2016 (see Figure 1).8

›› Consumers are becoming more vocal about social issues in regard to brands. Consumers
increasingly harness social channels to speak up about the issues they care about and to convey
these sentiments to brands: Today, 58% of US online adults agree that social media is a great
platform to tell companies how they really feel.9 Our social listening data proves that consumers
are generating more discussion about values in the context of companies and products. Over the
course of 2016, the volume of consumer-generated social media dialogue about company values
more than doubled.

© 2017 Forrester Research, Inc. Unauthorized copying or distributing is a violation of copyright law. 2
Citations@forrester.com or +1 866-367-7378
For B2C Marketing Professionals April 6, 2017
The Values-Based Consumer
A Technographics® 360 Report Using Survey, Social Listening, And Qualitative Data

›› Consumers are considering company values more explicitly when making purchases. In Q1
2015, 43% of US online adults actively considered company values when making a purchase; now,
52% of consumers do so. It’s not just Millennials who are driving values-based consumer decision
making: While 25% of values-conscious shoppers are from Generation Y (or Millennials), 25% are
from Generation X, and 23% are Baby Boomers.10 Nor is it limited to affluent shoppers: Nearly four
in 10 values-based consumers have an annual income of $50,000 or less.11

© 2017 Forrester Research, Inc. Unauthorized copying or distributing is a violation of copyright law. 3
Citations@forrester.com or +1 866-367-7378
For B2C Marketing Professionals April 6, 2017
The Values-Based Consumer
A Technographics® 360 Report Using Survey, Social Listening, And Qualitative Data

FIGURE 1 Consumers Increasingly Factor Company Values Into Their Purchase Choices

Company values are increasingly important to consumer purchase decisions.


Consumers are becoming more sensitive to social impact overall:

I consider myself to be 42% 2014


environmentally conscious 52% 2016

28%
I regularly follow politics online
32%

I regularly read about science online 25%


30%

Consumers are more vocal about the impact of company practices, ethics, and beliefs:*

The number of times a term or phrase about “company values” appears in a


Mentions
post on social media (e.g., blog, review site, forum):

250,000

200,000

150,000

100,000

50,000

0
Jan ’16 Mar ’16 May ’16 Jul ’16 Sept ’16 Nov ’16

Consumers consider company values to be important to their purchase decisions:†

43% 52%

2015 2017
Base: 58,583 (2014) and 60,049 (2016) US online adults (18+)

Base: 5,396 (2015) and 5,005 (2017) US online adults (18+)
Source: Forrester Data North American Consumer Technographics® Online Benchmark Survey (Part 1), 2014
and Forrester Data Consumer Technographics North American Online Benchmark Survey (Part 1), 2016
*Source: Forrester’s analysis of NetBase aggregated social listening data, January 2016 to January 2017 (US)

Source: Forrester Data North American Consumer Technographics Omnibus Survey, Q1 2015 and
Forrester Data Consumer Technographics North American Omnibus Survey, 2017

© 2017 Forrester Research, Inc. Unauthorized copying or distributing is a violation of copyright law. 4
Citations@forrester.com or +1 866-367-7378
For B2C Marketing Professionals April 6, 2017
The Values-Based Consumer
A Technographics® 360 Report Using Survey, Social Listening, And Qualitative Data

The Impact Of Company Values Varies Based On Consumers’ Sensitivity And Choice

Although consumers increasingly factor company values into their buying decisions, they always
consider these principles alongside elements like price, convenience, previous experience, and
accessibility.12 The degree of influence that corporate values have on purchase decisions and the types
of behavioral outcomes they spark depend on how sensitive customers are to the issues at hand and
the choice of brands and products available to them. We asked members of our ConsumerVoices
Market Research Online Community to elaborate on this.

›› About one-fifth of consumers put values first. These US online adults strive to prioritize
company values over competing factors like price and convenience.13 A keen awareness of
company values gives these customers the freedom to choose which companies to do business
with — and which ones to avoid. To these shoppers, avoiding specific brands feels as powerful
and deliberate as buying from one. Two ConsumerVoices members told us how knowledge of a
company’s values motivates them to make a statement:

“I am one of the few people who doesn’t care for burgers from a specific fast food chain — I just
don’t like their taste. But I recently learned that this company treats its employees better than other
fast food restaurants. Because of this, I feel good about purchasing food there, even though they
aren’t my favorite burgers.” (Male, 65-plus years old)

“Certain brands that don’t support good causes no longer get my money. I avoid them because it’s
the only way the companies and institutions will hear me — when I can affect their finances, I can
make a difference.” (Female, 55 to 64 years old)

›› The majority of consumers see values as a differentiator. They place various factors like price,
previous experience, rewards, and company values in context.14 When these customers perceive
brands and products to be comparable in terms of price and quality, they will often consider
company values as the differentiator: Their knowledge of corporate ethics and practices can tip
the scale in a purchase decision and make one option more appealing than its competitors. In the
words of two ConsumerVoices members:

“In general, I look at brand quality and price. But if a brand I normally wouldn’t buy from supported
a great cause and had the same quality as another brand I do purchase from, I would buy from
them instead of my normal brand.” (Female, 35 to 44 years old)

“I don’t attempt to track the values of every single company — it’s just not realistic. But when I
learn of a company that supports the same causes that I do, I will prefer them over a competitor.”
(Male, 55 to 64 years old)

›› Others see values as nice-to-haves. A smaller group of customers who are hyperaware of company
values assign less weight to these issues because they recognize that no company is perfect.15 In this
case, consumers use their knowledge about company values to eliminate certain brands or products
and to avoid doing business with harmful or risky companies. As one ConsumerVoices member said:

© 2017 Forrester Research, Inc. Unauthorized copying or distributing is a violation of copyright law. 5
Citations@forrester.com or +1 866-367-7378
For B2C Marketing Professionals April 6, 2017
The Values-Based Consumer
A Technographics® 360 Report Using Survey, Social Listening, And Qualitative Data

“I am very aware of company values when it comes to where I shop and what I buy. I realize it is
very difficult to find big retailers that have no faults, but I try to avoid the ones that have obvious
or blatant mission statements, values, and labor conditions that I disagree with.” (Female, 55 to 64
years old)

This Shift In Consumer Thinking Means New Risks — And Opportunities — For Brands

As company values become more apparent to consumers, these principles increasingly affect
customer advocacy, purchase inclination, willingness to spend, and loyalty. To stay relevant to their
audience and distinct from their competition, marketers can’t afford to remain silent about their
company’s values. Transparency is no longer optional; consumers pressure brands to expose their
commitment to specific practices and causes.

›› Customers now threaten brands that don’t take a stand. In the past, consumers rarely expected
companies to make a statement about social or political issues; brands that did so often expressed
this in the form of advertising or PR campaigns.16 Now, consumers not only expect brands to
publicize their commitment to certain practices, they demand it — and distrust those companies
that remain silent.17 Two ConsumerVoices members summed this up:

“Brands have to take a side because the public expects them to. The days of being neutral are
over.” (Male, 25 to 34 years old)

“If you are not willing to show what you stand for, then perhaps you should not be standing for it.”
(Female, 45 to 54 years old)

›› Customers want to open their wallets for brands with appealing values. Understanding the
direct impact of company values on consumer behavior is tricky because shoppers’ beliefs and
stated intentions don’t always translate into action at the moment of purchase.18 However, customers
want to feel good about their purchases: When consumers find a company that promotes the values
they care about, nine in 10 say they would go out of their way to do business with the brand, pay a
premium for the products, or recommend the company to friends and family.19

›› Companies that embrace their values are most confident in their future growth. Companies
that adhere to their stated values believe they are set up for future profitability and customer
satisfaction more than firms that don’t put their values into practice: At least eight in 10 business
leaders at US B2B and B2C companies that consciously execute on their corporate values expect
to forge stronger customer relationships, boost customer satisfaction, differentiate their products
and services, and see profit growth within the next five years; fewer than two in 10 business leaders
at companies that don’t consciously embrace their corporate values say the same.20

© 2017 Forrester Research, Inc. Unauthorized copying or distributing is a violation of copyright law. 6
Citations@forrester.com or +1 866-367-7378
For B2C Marketing Professionals April 6, 2017
The Values-Based Consumer
A Technographics® 360 Report Using Survey, Social Listening, And Qualitative Data

Use Consumer Context And Emotional Needs To Resonate Effectively


Thanks to customers’ rising awareness of company practices and demand for transparency on
corporate values, marketers must get smart about when, where, and how to win consumers’ business
through an appeal to values.21 But as history has shown, exposing a brand’s values is a delicate matter
and can backfire: Brands that come across as inauthentic generate distrust among their customers,
and those that comment on controversial topics risk alienating those who disagree with that position.22
Before you take action, ask yourself: What types of values generate the strongest consumer
sentiment? What are the opportunities and pitfalls to consider within my industry? What do consumers
really want?

Not All Values Inspire The Same Sentiment

While consumers expect brands to use their platform to advocate certain causes, they also indicate that
some types of brand values are more appealing than others. A combination of our qualitative discussion
and social listening data reveals that companies that commit to a political stance generate the most
intense but polarizing emotions, while those that champion environmental, labor/manufacturing, and
global humanitarian issues inspire the most positive reaction. But regardless of which causes or beliefs a
brand supports, consumers expect the firm’s overall messaging to be consistent across all values — they
expect alignment between brand values and political, social, or other affiliations.23

›› Political issues are the most contentious. Consumers acknowledge that when brands promote
their political affiliations, they win favor with some while distancing others. Social listening data
shows that consumers who discuss brands and politics together use intensely positive or negative
language.24 And because the political climate changes frequently, customers believe that when
brands attach themselves to a political party, they set themselves up for problems. According to
one ConsumerVoices member:

“Saying that you support any kind of political cause will alienate a group of customers, so brands
can’t win. It’s best to focus on less rousing issues that don’t tend to alienate people.” (Male, 65+
years old)

›› Social issues provoke less intense reactions. While social issues are often partisan — such
as perspectives on minority groups — consumers say that companies focusing on broad social
principles like equality, safety, or community wellbeing are less polarizing than brands that explicitly
support or oppose a political party. Our social listening data shows that consumers are less fervent
about a brand’s affiliations with minority or special interest groups than about its party-political
leanings.25 Therefore, consumers suggest that brands should embrace broad social concepts that
have national appeal. One ConsumerVoices said:

“Brands should try to strike a balance of showing equality and diversity in line with our constitution.
The most important thing is for a brand to show that it thinks about human beings and not
ideology.” (Female, 45 to 54 years old)

© 2017 Forrester Research, Inc. Unauthorized copying or distributing is a violation of copyright law. 7
Citations@forrester.com or +1 866-367-7378
For B2C Marketing Professionals April 6, 2017
The Values-Based Consumer
A Technographics® 360 Report Using Survey, Social Listening, And Qualitative Data

›› Environmental, labor, and humanitarian issues inspire the most positive sentiment.
Companies that espouse environmental practices like “going green,” labor and manufacturing
practices like domestic production, and humanitarian causes like cruelty-free products or global
welfare tend to generate either positive or neutral consumer sentiment.26 Consumers believe
that such issues are safest for brands to promote because they rarely spark opposition: At best,
they allow customers to feel good about their purchases; at worst, they leave customers feeling
indifferent.27 In the words of one ConsumerVoices member:

“It’s probably best for a brand to market the practices and values that directly relate to their own
products and not to take a stand on political or social issues — because in these cases, what’s ‘in’
one day could be ‘out’ the next.” (Female, 45 to 54 years old)

Consumers’ Evaluation Of Company Values Affects Some Industries More Than Others

Even the most conscientious consumers reveal that company values have different degrees of
influence on their purchase choices across different product categories (see Figure 2). Consumers
are particularly sensitive to corporate values when buying personal items and household necessities,
consumer electronics, and financial products/services — likely because these categories offer
extensive consumer choice and are frequently highlighted in media stories that expose company
beliefs and ethics. Our consumer data indicates that assessments of company values are:

›› Most prevalent when buying food/grocery, household products, and electronics. In 2015,
15% of US online adults said they considered company values when purchasing food and grocery
items; now, 22% of consumers do so. Similarly, 16% of consumers evaluated company practices
when choosing household products like cleaning supplies and consumer electronics or devices in
2015; now, a fifth of shoppers do so. Over the past two years, around a fifth of consumers have
consistently factored corporate ethics into their cosmetics and clothing purchases.28 And because
consumers often leverage social channels to discuss company values regarding personal items,
household products, and consumer electronics, corporate values are frequently top of mind for
consumers when they are shopping in these categories.

›› Increasingly driving financial services and vehicle purchase decisions. Recent revelations
about companies like Wells Fargo and Volkswagen that exposed questionable ethics and violated
customer expectations have sparked consumers’ sensitivity to corporate practices in the financial
services and automotive categories. In 2015, 20% of consumers evaluated company values when
selecting a financial services provider or a new automobile; now, a quarter of consumers say that
company values play into their financial services and insurance purchase decisions, and 23%
agree that corporate practices influence their choice of vehicle.29

›› Relatively rare when it comes to travel. Only 18% of consumers say that company values have
an impact on their travel research and booking behaviors. Because values-based travel decisions
are rare, those consumers who do find airlines and hotel brands that promote appealing values

© 2017 Forrester Research, Inc. Unauthorized copying or distributing is a violation of copyright law. 8
Citations@forrester.com or +1 866-367-7378
For B2C Marketing Professionals April 6, 2017
The Values-Based Consumer
A Technographics® 360 Report Using Survey, Social Listening, And Qualitative Data

expect to pay more for the experience and spread the news to their friends: 44% of consumers say
they would pay a premium to do business with a values-conscious travel brand; 33% of consumers
would advocate this brand to their peers; and 23% would follow the brand on social media.

FIGURE 2 Consumers’ Evaluation Of Company Values Affects Some Industries More Than Others

The impact of company values on consumer behavior varies by industry.

Consumers do the following when they find a brand that supports causes or values that
they care about:

Financial Food/ Household Consumer Clothing/


products Insurance Automotive grocery products electronics accessories Travel

Pay a premium
36% 13% 21% 11% 20% 2% 8% 44%
for a product

Advocate for the


22% 25% 11% 23% 2% 41% 19% 33%
brand

Go out of way to
45% 21% 36% 21% 9% 20% 24% 2%
stay loyal to brand

Follow the brand


11% 7% 21% 9% 41% 36% 3% 23%
on social media

Prefer the brand


19% 42% 2% 47% 13% 24% 23% 8%
over competitors

Consumers
who consider
25% 24% 23% 22% 20% 20% 19% 18%
company values
important

Base: 5,005 US online adults (18+)


Source: Forrester Data Consumer Technographics® North American Omnibus Survey, 2017

© 2017 Forrester Research, Inc. Unauthorized copying or distributing is a violation of copyright law. 9
Citations@forrester.com or +1 866-367-7378
For B2C Marketing Professionals April 6, 2017
The Values-Based Consumer
A Technographics® 360 Report Using Survey, Social Listening, And Qualitative Data

Consumers Ultimately Want Purposeful And Meaningful Brand Relationships

Knowing what customer trends are unfolding is critical, but marketers must also understand why if they
are to resonate effectively with customers and leave a long-lasting impression. Comprehensive analysis
of our qualitative research points to three key concepts that are driving customers to seek details of
company practices and make purchases accordingly. Shoppers who buy from brands with matching
commitments and values don’t just feel good about their purchases — they experience a deeper sense
of connection, personalization, and validation. Consumers:

›› Crave a deeper emotional connection in a digital world. For decades, people have struggled
to balance the isolating effects of technology with the need for connection. As consumers interact
across multiple digital touchpoints today, their thirst for interpersonal interaction is stronger than
ever.30 When companies show they care about certain causes or communities, they humanize the
brand experience for customers. As a result, consumers feel a genuine sense of connection to
the company and believe that they can build an emotional relationship with the brand.31 As one
ConsumerVoices member explained:

“It’s nice to see that some forward-thinking people have made it into positions of influence, and I
do everything I can to support those companies. It feels like we have a sort of kinship.” (Male, 45 to
54 years old)

›› Trust the entities that mirror their own identity. A sense of empathetic connection enables an
emotional relationship, but the brands that resonate with a customer’s identity forge the strongest
emotional bonds.32 In today’s “post-truth” environment, where customers trust organizations that
reflect their personal beliefs, shoppers naturally gravitate toward the brands that match their own
identity.33 Brands that express a core set of values allow customers to form personal attachments
with the company and experience a sense of association. In the words of one ConsumerVoices
member:

“I use brands that reflect who I am and what I value in life. Buying from a company that stands for
the causes I care about gives me a sense of solidarity.” (Female, 45 to 54 years old)

›› Seek meaningful relationships. Even more than emotional connections, customers today seek
meaningful relationships. While emotional experiences deliver a variety of fleeting sensations
and help build memories, meaningful interactions leave customers with a long-lasting sense of
satisfaction and purpose.34 Brands that champion certain causes or stand for specific issues
enable shoppers to feel that their purchases make an impact on their community at large. Brands
that act as a platform and allow consumers to follow through on the issues they care about stand
out and give customers a feeling of validation. As a ConsumerVoices member told us:

“I buy from companies that stand for the same causes and issues that I do. This makes me feel
validated because the brand and I care about the same things.” (Male, 45 to 54 years old)

© 2017 Forrester Research, Inc. Unauthorized copying or distributing is a violation of copyright law. 10
Citations@forrester.com or +1 866-367-7378
For B2C Marketing Professionals April 6, 2017
The Values-Based Consumer
A Technographics® 360 Report Using Survey, Social Listening, And Qualitative Data

Recommendations

Act On Company Values To Win Consumer Minds And Market Share


The days of companies cautiously curating their image to mask their business practices are over. Now,
increasingly empowered customers can make or break a company’s reputation, thanks to their devices,
social connections, and growing expectations for emotionally enriching experiences. Marketers have
an opportunity to build the deeper brand relationships that empowered customers want by advocating
and acting on their corporate values. But in today’s particularly heated political environment, appealing
to consumers’ values can be a minefield. Marketers: Avoid detrimental negative consumer reactions
and build relevant, meaningful brand experiences by:

›› Identifying what your customers naturally care most about — and why. Truly customer-
obsessed companies understand consumers’ needs and wants and design products or services
to match.35 As consumers’ stated intentions don’t always align with their actual behavior, you
must use a combination of qualitative and quantitative research to understand your consumers
holistically. By applying an “outside-in” approach to customer understanding, you can identify what
your most empowered customers feel passionate about overall — and how your brand aligns with
these passions.36

›› Prioritizing the values that you want to promote. To decide which corporate values will resonate
best with your customer base, you must assess your industry, competition, consumer context,
and customer sensitivity. Apply statistical rigor to focus on one or two key values that matter most
to your customers and are relevant to your brand and category. As one ConsumerVoices member
said: “There doesn’t have to be a hundred issues on the table. Brands should simply focus on one
cause effectively — that’s already a win.”

›› Promoting your values through a combination of action and talk. Customers say that a
company’s actions count more than its words — and consumers are wary when brands seem to
harp on a particular agenda or lecture them. Instead of promoting values or the company’s stated
positions yourself, promote the actions that signal your brand’s true commitment to those values.
This requires teams beyond marketing or advertising to internalize and practice your company’s
values — employees across your organization must cultivate a mindset of customer empathy and
customer centricity.37

›› Measuring the emotional results as well as the tactical and behavioral outcomes. We’ve shown
that pulling the right emotional levers is most crucial to generating customer loyalty and driving
revenue.38 Because appealing to consumers’ values makes for a deeply personal and emotional
experience, measure the effectiveness of your company values by gauging your customers’
increasing emotional attachment to the brand on top of measuring behavioral success metrics.

© 2017 Forrester Research, Inc. Unauthorized copying or distributing is a violation of copyright law. 11
Citations@forrester.com or +1 866-367-7378
For B2C Marketing Professionals April 6, 2017
The Values-Based Consumer
A Technographics® 360 Report Using Survey, Social Listening, And Qualitative Data

Engage With An Analyst


Gain greater confidence in your decisions by working with Forrester thought leaders to apply
our research to your specific business and technology initiatives.

Analyst Inquiry Analyst Advisory Webinar

To help you put research Translate research into Join our online sessions
into practice, connect action by working with on the latest research
with an analyst to discuss an analyst on a specific affecting your business.
your questions in a engagement in the form Each call includes analyst
30-minute phone session of custom strategy Q&A and slides and is
— or opt for a response sessions, workshops, available on-demand.
via email. or speeches.
Learn more.
Learn more. Learn more.

Forrester’s research apps for iPhone® and iPad®


Stay ahead of your competition no matter where you are.

Supplemental Material
Survey Methodology

The Forrester Data Consumer Technographics North American Online Benchmark Survey (Part 1),
2016, was fielded in February and March 2016. This online survey included 60,049 respondents in the
US and 6,284 respondents in Canada between the ages of 18 and 88. For results based on a randomly
chosen sample of this size, there is 95% confidence that the results have a statistical precision of plus
or minus 0.4% of what they would be if the entire population of US online adults (defined as those
online weekly or more often) had been surveyed and plus or minus 1.2% of what they would be if the
entire population of Canadian online adults had been surveyed. Forrester weighted the data by age,
gender, income, region, and broadband adoption to demographically represent the US and Canadian
online adult populations. The survey sample size, when weighted, was 60,049 in the US and 6,276

© 2017 Forrester Research, Inc. Unauthorized copying or distributing is a violation of copyright law. 12
Citations@forrester.com or +1 866-367-7378
For B2C Marketing Professionals April 6, 2017
The Values-Based Consumer
A Technographics® 360 Report Using Survey, Social Listening, And Qualitative Data

in Canada. (Note: Weighted sample sizes can be different from the actual number of respondents to
account for individuals generally underrepresented in online panels.) Lightspeed GMI fielded this survey
on behalf of Forrester. Survey respondent incentives included points redeemable for gift certificates.

For the Forrester Data North American Consumer Technographics Online Benchmark Survey (Part 1),
2014, Forrester conducted an online survey fielded in March and April 2014 of 58,725 US individuals
and 6,341 Canadian individuals ages 18 to 88. For results based on a randomly chosen sample of
this size (N = 58,725 in the US and N = 6341 in Canada), there is 95% confidence that the results
have a statistical precision of plus or minus 0.4% of what they would be if the entire population of US
adults who are online weekly or more often had been surveyed and plus or minus 1.2% of what they
would be if the entire population of Canadian adults who are online weekly or more often had been
surveyed. Forrester weighted the data by age, gender, income, broadband adoption, and region to
demographically represent the adult US and Canadian online populations. The survey sample size,
when weighted, was 58,583 in the US and 6,326 in Canada. (Note: Weighted sample sizes can be
different from the actual number of respondents to account for individuals generally underrepresented
in online panels.) Please note that respondents who participate in online surveys generally have more
experience with the internet and feel more comfortable transacting online.

Forrester’s Q3 2016 Customer-Obsessed Operating Model Online Survey was fielded in July and
August 2016. This online survey included 1,024 respondents in a leadership role from companies with
500 or more employees in the US, UK, and Germany. Research Now fielded this survey on behalf of
Forrester. Survey respondent incentives include points redeemable for gift certificates.

For the Forrester Data North American Consumer Technographics Omnibus Survey, Q1 2015, Forrester
conducted an online survey fielded in March 2015 of 5,069 US individuals ages 18 to 87. For results
based on a randomly chosen sample of this size, there is 95% confidence that the results have a
statistical precision of plus or minus 1.5% of what they would be if the entire population of US online
adults (defined as those online weekly or more often) had been surveyed. Forrester weighted the data
by age, gender, income, broadband adoption, and region to demographically represent the adult US
online population. The survey sample size, when weighted, was 5,063.

For the Forrester Data Consumer Technographics North American Omnibus Survey, 2017, Forrester
conducted an online survey fielded in March 2017 of 5,005 US individuals ages 18 to 87. For results
based on a randomly chosen sample of this size, there is 95% confidence that the results have a
statistical precision of plus or minus 1.5% of what they would be if the entire population of US online
adults (defined as those online weekly or more often) had been surveyed. Forrester weighted the data
by age, gender, income, broadband adoption, and region to demographically represent the adult US
online population.

For Forrester’s analysis of NetBase aggregated social listening data, January 2016 to January 2017
(US), we leveraged NetBase to capture social media content that consumers posted publicly on the
web between January 2016 and January 2017. Using natural language processing (NLP) technology

© 2017 Forrester Research, Inc. Unauthorized copying or distributing is a violation of copyright law. 13
Citations@forrester.com or +1 866-367-7378
For B2C Marketing Professionals April 6, 2017
The Values-Based Consumer
A Technographics® 360 Report Using Survey, Social Listening, And Qualitative Data

with 80% accuracy, we analyzed consumer-generated posts from forums, blogs, online communities,
and social networking sites to assess the evolution of consumer opinion, sentiment, and behavior
regarding corporate values.

We also engaged US online adults in Forrester Data’s ConsumerVoices Market Research Online
Community, Q1 2017 (US). We explored consumers’ attitudes and expectations regarding company
values by understanding how they evaluate these principles when making purchase choices, how
they learn about company values and why, and what types of issues and/or brands have the greatest
impact on their perceptions and behavior, and why. We collected this data through a series of
discussion-board-style activities.

For Technographics Clients: How To Get More Technographics Data Insights

Our deep dive into consumer awareness, sentiment, and shifting behavior regarding corporate values
demonstrates that business leaders who want to understand patterns of behavior and nuances in their
consumers’ decision making must examine qualitative data alongside other quantitative, behavioral, and
transactional data sources. Forrester can draw on a variety of data sources, including its Forrester Data
Consumer Technographics surveys, mobile and tablet behavioral data, online qualitative insights from its
ConsumerVoices Market Research Online Community, and social listening data to understand who your
consumers are, what they do, and why they do it. A 360-degree study of your audience that leverages
these qualitative and quantitative insights will give you a comprehensive analysis of your customers’
behaviors, mindset, and motivations, which is critical to understanding how they will evolve.

If you wish to subscribe to the Forrester Data Consumer Technographics services, please contact your
account manager or data@forrester.com. If you are an existing Technographics client, please contact
your data advisor at data@forrester.com.

Endnotes
Kellogg’s advertising decision set off heated consumer discussion, and a member of the L.L. Bean family and board
1

caused some consumers to boycott the brand and others to purchase more. Source: Louis Nelson, “Trump thanks L.L.
Bean heir for her support after boycott backlash,” Politico, January 12, 2017 (http://www.politico.com/story/2017/01/
trump-thanks-l-l-bean-linda-bean-233529) and David Ng “Breitbart News sees advertisers exit, calls Kellogg’s
decision ‘un-American,’” Los Angeles Times, November 30, 2016 (http://www.latimes.com/business/hollywood/la-fi-
ct-breitbart-kelloggs-advertisers-20161130-story.html).

Data from Forrester’s Customer-Obsessed Operating Model shows that 82% of companies are very familiar with their
2

organization’s stated values, but only 67% live up to these stated values. Source: Forrester’s Q3 2016 Customer-
Obsessed Operating Model Online Survey.

Some 53% of companies believe that their approach to experience design or delivery shows empathy for the
3

customer. Source: Forrester’s Q3 2016 Customer-Obsessed Operating Model Online Survey.

Learn how to integrate company values across the organization to earn consumers’ and stakeholders’ trust. See the
4

Forrester report “Align With Consumers’ Values To Win Their Hearts And Wallets.”

© 2017 Forrester Research, Inc. Unauthorized copying or distributing is a violation of copyright law. 14
Citations@forrester.com or +1 866-367-7378
For B2C Marketing Professionals April 6, 2017
The Values-Based Consumer
A Technographics® 360 Report Using Survey, Social Listening, And Qualitative Data

See the Forrester report “The Rise Of The Empowered Customer.”


5

CSR: corporate social responsibility.


6

To consumers, company values are about more than what is expressed through a corporation’s mission statement
7

— they are about what a company does and how a corporation’s actions are perceived. For example, while
Uber’s decision to continue servicing JFK Airport during a taxi strike in response to President Trump’s immigration
ban was not intended to show support for or against the administration, consumers interpreted the action as a
political statement and launched the grassroots #DeleteUber campaign in response. Source: Timothy B. Lee, “The
#DeleteUber campaign just forced Uber’s CEO to cut ties with Trump,” Vox, February 2, 2017 (http://www.vox.com/
new-money/2017/2/2/14491492/uber-trump-travis-kalanick).

Responses of 4 or 5 (on a scale of 1 [strongly disagree] to 5 [strongly agree]) for the following statement: “I consider
8

myself to be environmentally conscious.” Source: Forrester Data Consumer Technographics North American Online
Benchmark Survey (Part 1), 2016.

Responses of 3, 4, or 5 (on a scale of 1 [do not agree at all] to 7 [strongly agree]) for the following statement: “Social
9

media websites and online social tools are a great way to communicate and show a brand/company how I really feel
about them.” Source: Forrester Data Consumer Technographics North American Online Benchmark Survey (Part 1),
2016.
10
Source: Forrester Data Consumer Technographics North American Omnibus Survey, 2017.
11
Source: Forrester Data Consumer Technographics North American Omnibus Survey, 2017.
12
For more information about consumer decision making and what it means for marketers, see the Forrester report
“How People Choose.”
13
Source: Forrester Data’s ConsumerVoices Market Research Online Community, Q1 2017 (US).
14
Source: Forrester Data Consumer Technographics North American Omnibus Survey, 2017 and Forrester Data’s
ConsumerVoices Market Research Online Community, Q1 2017 (US).
15
Source: Forrester Data’s ConsumerVoices Market Research Online Community, Q1 2017 (US).
16
For instance, Apple’s 1984 Super Bowl ad for the Macintosh computer was a shocking but effective piece of
advertising that allowed the brand to comment on the state of affairs. Source: Aaron Taube, “How The Greatest Super
Bowl Ad Ever — Apple’s ‘1984’ — Almost Didn’t Make It To Air,” Business Insider, January 22, 2014 (http://www.
businessinsider.com/apple-super-bowl-retrospective-2014-1).
17
History has shown that customers may still continue to purchase from the very companies they publicly criticize.
For example, the exposé on Amazon’s harsh work culture spurred debate among consumers and sparked criticism,
but shoppers continued to engage with the online retailer because it is essential to their lives and most convenient.
But today’s empowered customers have less patience for brands that remain silent and are quicker to sever their
emotional loyalty to the brands they fail to connect with. Source: “Depiction of Amazon Stirs a Debate About
Work Culture,” The New York Times, August 18, 2015 (https://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/19/technology/amazon-
workplace-reactions-comments.html).
18
Consumers’ stated or planned behavior does not always align with subsequent actions, and rationalized desires
often conflict with emotional motivations at the point of purchase. To see why multimodal research can account
for contextual consumer decision making, see the Forrester report “Understanding The Psychology Of Technology
Adoption With A Multimethodology Approach.”
19
While fewer customers will act on their good intentions at the moment of purchase, brands that both appeal to
consumer values and enable consumers to purchase or advocate its products seamlessly will allow customers to
follow through on their good intentions. Ultimately, shoppers who believe that they make purchases on the basis of
company values develop greater trust in the brands they choose. See the Forrester report “The Value Of Company
Values” and Forrester Data Consumer Technographics North American Omnibus Survey, 2017.

© 2017 Forrester Research, Inc. Unauthorized copying or distributing is a violation of copyright law. 15
Citations@forrester.com or +1 866-367-7378
For B2C Marketing Professionals April 6, 2017
The Values-Based Consumer
A Technographics® 360 Report Using Survey, Social Listening, And Qualitative Data

Source: Forrester’s Q3 2016 Customer-Obsessed Operating Model Online Survey.


20

“Sex doesn’t sell anymore, activism does.” Source: Alex Holder, “Sex doesn’t sell any more, activism does. And don’t
21

the big brands know it,” The Guardian, February 3, 2017 (https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/feb/03/
activism-sells-brands-social-conscience-advertising).

For instance, Coca-Cola’s “Coke Life” product, which was aimed at health-oriented and environmentally conscious
22

consumers, backfired when health professionals and customers alike reacted with skepticism. Individuals claimed
that the soft-drink giant was misleading consumers into thinking that the product was truly healthy and that the brand
could help battle obesity. Source: Polly Mosendz, “Coca-Cola Life Is Green, Natural, and Not Good for You,” The
Atlantic, June 17, 2014 (https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2014/06/coca-cola-life-isnt-actually-good-for-
you/372962/).

For instance, Patagonia maintains consistency when communicating values at different times and across various
23

initiatives — the brand’s commitment to environmental sustainability has fueled its advertising content, corporate
culture, and political outreach. Source: “Don’t Buy This Jacket, Black Friday and the New York Times,” Patagonia
blog, November 25, 2011 (http://www.patagonia.com/blog/2011/11/dont-buy-this-jacket-black-friday-and-the-
new-york-times/); “Patagonia joins list of companies like GM, Spotify giving staff the day off for election,” Chicago
Tribune, October 29, 2016 (http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/ct-take-off-election-day-20161029-story.
html); and Alexander C. Kaufman, “Patagonia, Sensing Political Apathy, Wants To Get Out The Green Vote,”
The Huffington Post, September 25, 2016 (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/patagonia-political-campaign_
us_57d33493e4b03d2d459aa867).

Social listening data shows that consumer-generated conversation about companies’ political associations is
24

vehement. It has an intensity score of 96 on a scale of 0 (neutral) to 100 (most intense). Source: Forrester’s analysis of
NetBase aggregated social listening data, January 2016 to January 2017 (US).

Social listening data reveals that consumer-generated conversation about companies’ social affiliations, such as
25

commitments to special interest groups, has an intensity score of 61 on a scale of 0 (neutral) to 100 (most intense).
Source: Forrester’s analysis of NetBase aggregated social listening data, January 2016 to January 2017 (US).

While consumer-generated social chatter about corporate sustainability and social impact is quite positive, it is also
26

less intense than conversation about political or social opinions; it has an intensity score of 36 on a scale of 0 (neutral)
to 100 (most intense). Source: Forrester’s analysis of NetBase aggregated social listening data, January 2016 to
January 2017 (US).

For instance, several brands have signed onto the United Nation’s Millennium Development Goals; this partnership
27

predominantly inspires positive consumer sentiment and has already established international agreement. Source:
“News on Millennium Development Goals,” United Nations (http://www.un.org/millenniumgoals/).

Source: Forrester Data North American Consumer Technographics Omnibus Survey, Q1 2015 and Forrester Data
28

Consumer Technographics North American Omnibus Survey, 2017.

Source: Forrester Data North American Consumer Technographics Omnibus Survey, Q1 2015 and Forrester Data
29

Consumer Technographics North American Omnibus Survey, 2017.

Forward-looking brands that recognize this are fostering emotional connection through innovations — for instance,
30

Amazon is introducing its brick-and-mortar retail locations, which allow customers to mingle in a physical space as a
complement to their digital experience. Source: Agatha French, “Bad news for the Strand? Amazon is opening a brick-
and-mortar bookstore in Manhattan,” Los Angeles Times, January 9, 2017 (http://www.latimes.com/books/la-et-jc-
amazon-store-20170109-story.html).

And Kuri, the personal digital assistant unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show in 2017, is endowed with a heart-
warming personality and “insanely cute” countenance in order to tug at consumer heart strings. Source: Joseph Carey,
“Kuri is the robot that gives home assistant devices a personality,” T3, January 9, 2017 (http://www.t3.com/news/kuri-
is-the-robot-that-gives-home-assistant-devices-a-personality).

© 2017 Forrester Research, Inc. Unauthorized copying or distributing is a violation of copyright law. 16
Citations@forrester.com or +1 866-367-7378
For B2C Marketing Professionals April 6, 2017
The Values-Based Consumer
A Technographics® 360 Report Using Survey, Social Listening, And Qualitative Data

With the advent of artificial intelligence, it’s no longer “human” to do or to think; now, human beings’ expressions of
31

compassion set them apart. Source: Thomas L. Friedman, “From Hands to Heads to Hearts,” The New York Times,
January 4, 2017 (https://mobile.nytimes.com/2017/01/04/opinion/from-hands-to-heads-to-hearts.html).

See the Forrester report “What Do Excellent Emotional Customer Experiences Look Like?”
32

Oxford Dictionaries’ 2016 word of the year was “post-truth,” meaning “the circumstance in which objective facts are
33

less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.” Source: “Oxford Dictionaries
Word of the Year 2016 is...,” Oxford Dictionaries press release, November 16, 2016 (https://www.oxforddictionaries.
com/press/news/2016/12/11/WOTY-16).

A sense of purpose or meaning is a deep-seated drive that is critical to our psychological health, adaptation, and
34

survival. In fact, a study by Stanford professors even proves that a sense of meaning leads to long-lasting wellbeing,
while positive emotional experiences yield temporary effects. Source: Emily Esfahani Smith and Jennifer Aaker, “In
2017, Pursue Meaning Instead of Happiness,” Science of Us, New York Media, December 30, 2016 (http://nymag.
com/scienceofus/2016/12/in-2017-pursue-meaning-instead-of-happiness.html).

For example, PURE Insurance built a successful customer-obsessed business by aligning business objectives with
35

customer objectives. See the Forrester report “Case Study: How PURE Insurance Built A Customer-Obsessed
Business.”

For examples of how to broaden your view of consumer behavior and develop an “outside-in” perspective of a
36

specific profile, see the Forrester report “Profiling US Health-Conscious Consumers.”

One method of developing a customer-obsessed culture across the organization is engaging employees in journey
37

mapping activities. See the Forrester report “Use Customer Journey Mapping To Make Your Culture Customer-
Obsessed.”

See the Forrester report “It’s Time To Embrace Customer Emotion” and see the Forrester report “Understanding The
38

Impact Of Emotion On Customer Experience.”

© 2017 Forrester Research, Inc. Unauthorized copying or distributing is a violation of copyright law. 17
Citations@forrester.com or +1 866-367-7378
We work with business and technology leaders to develop
customer-obsessed strategies that drive growth.
Products and Services
›› Core research and tools
›› Data and analytics
›› Peer collaboration
›› Analyst engagement
›› Consulting
›› Events

Forrester’s research and insights are tailored to your role and


critical business initiatives.
Roles We Serve
Marketing & Strategy Technology Management Technology Industry
Professionals Professionals Professionals
CMO CIO Analyst Relations
B2B Marketing Application Development
›› B2C Marketing & Delivery
Customer Experience Enterprise Architecture
Customer Insights Infrastructure & Operations
eBusiness & Channel Security & Risk
Strategy Sourcing & Vendor
Management

Client support
For information on hard-copy or electronic reprints, please contact Client Support at
+1 866-367-7378, +1 617-613-5730, or clientsupport@forrester.com. We offer quantity
discounts and special pricing for academic and nonprofit institutions.

Forrester Research (Nasdaq: FORR) is one of the most influential research and advisory firms in the world. We work with
business and technology leaders to develop customer-obsessed strategies that drive growth. Through proprietary
research, data, custom consulting, exclusive executive peer groups, and events, the Forrester experience is about a
singular and powerful purpose: to challenge the thinking of our clients to help them lead change in their organizations.
For more information, visit forrester.com. 137665