No Surprises Here: Consumers Choose Brands With Values, Integrity

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No Surprises Here: Consumers Choose Brands With Values, Integrity

Consumers in the U.S. favor retailers with integrity and good value, according to new research from global trend authority WGSN's recently launched brand performance tracking tool Barometer.

Nearly all of the top 10 most-considered women's wear retailers across the U.S. are highly-perceived by consumers as both honest and affordable; a finding WGSN's expert trend forecasters link to social and political uncertainty.

Amazon is the most-considered womenswear retailer, over-indexing by 14.5 percent on honesty, followed by JCPenney (11.1 percent) and Burlington Coat Factory (7.5 percent). The top 10 retailers also heavily over-indexed for the image association of 'worth every penny.' Burlington Coat Factory led at 19 percent over average, followed by Amazon at 18.3 percent and TJ Maxx at 13.1 percent. Meanwhile, Macy's was the only retailer in the top 10 to be perceived as premium by the majority of consumers.

Increased polarization and uncertainty has been multiplied across worldwide events and amplified by social media; in light of this, WGSN believe consumers will look for solutions that help mediate the chaos. While the next twist in politics may still be unclear, its impact on fashion retail is already in motion with this clear indication of consumer sentiment.

Lorna Hall, Head of WGSN Insight: "With so much global uncertainty and political noise at the moment, consumers are reaching out for brands to be the new leaders. Brands excelling in this space are the ones that are re-strategizing to put 'doing good' at the core of the company, ensuring honesty, transparency and authenticity are the new business metrics. Regardless of the demographic, honesty speaks volume to consumers who are careful and skeptical about where their eyeballs and money go."

"The high ranking of honesty together with affordability shows that both elements are pivotal for consumer consideration – it's not an either-or situation. Brands who are honest are quite simply transparent on their pricing," she adds. 

Launched in March 2017, WGSN Barometer tracks the daily performance of over 250 womenswear retail brands for strategists and executives by surveying more than 120,000 consumers yearly. WGSN Barometer subscribers can access results via an online dashboard, bespoke monthly reports and quarterly presentations that compare brand health through a comprehensive assessment of their own brand versus their peers, and the total market in the US & UK. The Customer Perception Map – developed by management consulting firm Oliver Wyman – uncovers drivers of customer satisfaction and helps brands understand where to invest most effectively to win over customers and market share.

"WGSN Barometer was created to give retailers a clear understanding of their position in the market and strategic insight into how this could be strengthened. We found that a lot of retailers track their own consumer perception and growth. Without being able to benchmark their success against the total competitive landscape or identify truly objective insights, there was no clear path to success. Barometer changes that," says Kevin Silk, Managing Director, WGSN.

WGSN Barometer results are based on participation from female survey respondents aged 16-74 across the UK and US, tracking over 100 metrics to compare performance on key drivers of customer satisfaction, from offer (shopping experience, range and quality) to value (prices, offers, sales & promotions).