UK

 

The Authenticity Report – UK ​Headlines
2017
Big post-Brexit rise in food prices: better value more expected than ever

We studied 24 companies in the Food & Agribusiness sector and only one company exceeds expectations of better value. With the sharp fall in the pound since the EU referendum and food inflation doubling in February alone, UK shoppers are starting to feel the pinch and are expecting food companies and supermarkets to respond.

 

Broadcast media more credible in sorting facts from fiction

Broadcast media (33%) is about 30 percent more credible than mainstream print media (25%) and three times as credible as social media (11%). Perhaps this reflects the BBC’s reputation in the fight against fake news?

 

“Disruptor” companies answering the question “What’s in it for me?”

People look to disruptor companies to deliver more customer benefits than those offered by established businesses.  Of the eight “disruptor” companies we studied better value is the top experience for four companies, innovation is the No. 1 experience for four companies and customer care is the No.1 for one company. (One company ties better value and innovation.) These three drivers make up Customer Benefits and are nearly twice as important as the other six drivers in our framework.

 

Why do companies forget who really drives their business?

In 2017, we studied over 150 companies. Three quarters of them have a gap in customer care. Only one in seven of these companies managed to exceed people’s expectations. Company leaders who are too aggressive in pursuing their self-interest or the interest of shareholders at the cost of their customers end up destroying reputation and value. The challenge lies in identifying ways to provide superior customer benefits and experience.

 

Politicians are over 17 times less credible than friends, family and colleagues

For many years, studies have tracked a decline in respect for politicians and the establishment. Knowledgeable friends, family and colleagues (34%) and employees (34%) are 17 times more credible than politicians (2%), and almost five times more credible than company leaders (7%).

 

Customer expectations put better value in top 3 drivers

With the cost of living continuing to rise for a majority of the population, better value is the single most important expectation in our 2017 study. Expectations of better value are in the top three expectations in every one of the 20 industries studied. Better value is the No. 1 driver in eight industries, No. 2 in ten industries and the third ranked driver in two. Post-Brexit even politicians are realising that value for money remains a major concern for most people.

 

With threats rising, technology companies are falling short of doing right

People are expecting technology companies to do the right thing and protect them from the threats of hacking, computer viruses, stolen identity, fraud, unsolicited information and fake news – which are growing daily. Yet 18 B2B and B2C technology companies (of the 24 we studied) have gaps in expectations of doing right. Only two companies are exceeding expectations and four are broadly matching.

 

Expectations of credible communications are the lowest across all industries

Of the Nine Drivers, credible communications has the lowest average expectation of all 20 industries studied. In fact, 14 industries rank expectations of credible communications in the bottom three drivers. In an age of alternative facts companies are struggling to be heard and believed.

 

Gaps in care of the environment in unexpected places

People rank care of the environment as their No. 1, 2 or 3 expectation in 11 of the industries studied. These 11 industries have an average authenticity gap of seven percent, twice as large as all industries. Most surprising is that Personal Care Products, Apparel, Beer & Spirits and Biotechnology rank care of environment alongside industries where the driver is already on consumers’ radar: Airlines, Household Large Appliances, Automobiles, Industrial Companies, Food & Beverage and Energy.

 

Customer care tops innovation as top 3 driver across most industries

Customer care is in the top three drivers in 17 industries, surpassing innovation which is top three in only ten (of the 20 industries studied). But customer care does not exist in isolation. Innovation that delivers better customer service and experience – not just new products – is key to better customer care. This is true even in an industry built on innovation: Internet Services.