Mention Me’s research reveals the importance of brand ethics for customer advocacy

Mention Me’s second annual survey report into customer advocacy and referral trends, reveals what motivated UK consumers to refer brands in 2018, which sectors and brands were most referable, and which qualities were most likely to drive a brand recommendation.

Personal recommendations score highly with 36% of those questioned saying they had recommended a brand in the past 3 months, and a further 27% in the past 4-9 months. Trust remains a recurrent theme throughout the results, reflecting the increasing value and influence that consumers place on transparency.

The research reveals again that UK consumers value and trust their friends opinions more than anyone else (including their partners). With 33% of those questioned trusting a friend’s referral the most, double their spouse or partner (16%). Consumer trust in social media platforms and influencer and celebrity endorsements seem to be at an all time low. Just 2% would trust a referral from a celebrity (down from 3% in 2017 and 0.2% a politician (down from 2% in 2017).

The top three attributes that a brand needs to have to make them referrable according to those questioned, are unchanged from 2017:

  • Great customer service (51%)
  • Being trustworthy / credible (49%)
  • Offering good discounts / referral offers (42%)

A powerful new trend revealed in this year’s survey is consumer concern for the ethics and social purpose of the brands we interact with. Attitudes and behaviour around sustainability and social responsibility have become paramount. For those questioned, people are more likely to refer a brand:

  • If it paid their workers a fair wage (42%)
  • Was committed to working with local suppliers and hiring from the local community (40%)
  • Was committed to scrapping the use of plastics and environmental concerns (31%)

The top three referrable sectors also remain the same as the previous year’s survey, related to experiences and the home. Of those questioned 58% were most likely to refer a holiday and travel business, 46% a technology brand and 45% home and furniture. However other sectors also rate highly for customer advocacy, including financial services (42%), womens’ fashion (42%) and beauty (40%).

“This survey reveals for the second year running that trust is an increasingly important theme across all elements of society and marketing is no different. Also highlighted is an ethical culture shift, having a marked impact on the types of brands we would be happy to refer. If brands can get their proposition and values right however, and win loyal support, their customers can prove to be their best advocates and become a driver for growth through referral”, comments Andy Cockburn, CEO of Mention Me.

Full details of our Customer Advocacy Report can be viewed here.

Source: Mention Me

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