Creating Advantage in the Age of Brand Inertia

As we look ahead to 2024, it’s important to consider how the socio-economic changes over the last two years – most notably, the cost-of-living crisis, rise in misinformation, advances in technology and purpose-washing – will impact consumers perceptions of brands.

Research by Grayling, complemented by our bespoke brand diagnostic tool Advantage Analytics, has revealed that consumers are entering an age of Brand Inertia. Consumers are becoming hyper-fatigued and actively disconnecting with previously loved and valued brands.

Our research has identified three key areas of concern when it comes to Brand Inertia:

  1. Blurred Brands: Consumers are struggling to differentiate between brands and tend to see the same brands over and over.
  2. Bad Connection: Consumers are not feeling as connected to brands, and many even think that brands are less connected to people, society and current events than they were two years ago. Over half of consumers (56%) can’t think of a single brand they feel connected with or who understands them.
  3. System Overload: Consumers increasingly are actively disengaging from brand communications, feeling besieged by too much content that is often irrelevant. Two thirds of people with high levels of inertia (67%) say the branded content they see is usually irrelevant.

These trends make it harder than ever for brands to reach consumers and maintain an active investment both financially and emotionally. Brand Inertia therefore poses a risk and potential negative impact on commercial growth.

To find out more, read the full report here which includes a breakdown of the research and key findings.