FEATURE24 January 2018

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Can relationships between businesses and individuals be improved by new technology? Tim Phillips explores how the balance of trust might be changing with digital innovation.

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“I am not ‘part of the family’, or whatever the marketing spin is, ” says a respondent. “Somehow these brands feel like they have a right to invade my life every day.”

He isn’t a disaffected millennial or a political campaigner. He doesn’t have an agenda, and isn’t about to give up on society, drop out or go dark. The conclusion from a recent research report from strategy consultancy Quadrangle is that he’s past all that: he’s what the report is calling a ‘post-digital consumer’, and the number of people like him is growing, rapidly.

While these consumers remain economically active, many don’t have the admiration for brands and products that marketers desire. The expression ‘customer delight’ would, in most cases, seem ridiculous to them. They understand that this is what brands do, but they know they are being manipulated. They might quite like to take back control.

In short: with a resigned shrug, they have learned not to ...