By Divya Shroff, Senior Product Marketing Manager, Momentive

In the post-pandemic world of never-ending change, businesses are trying to stay ahead of the curve and determine what’s next. With a focus on speed and boldness, leaders aren’t just bracing for ongoing pandemic impacts but also other societal, political and environmental disruptions. As companies rethink approaches to navigate and thrive in this new landscape, keeping tabs on the market and customers is more critical than ever.

Consumers demand more from brands than ever before

Momentive launched several COVID-19 impact studies and found that, compared to before the pandemic, 28% of consumers are spending less, while 34% are spending more. The types of products consumers are buying are also changing; 24% say they have been spending more on private labels than on name brands throughout the pandemic. When it comes to generational shopping habits, Gen Z consumers want more from brands than just affordable and high-quality products. Brand authenticity, transparency and sustainability are higher priorities for this age cohort than for older consumers. 

B2B decision makers say “brand matters”

Brand perception and brand tracking are no longer just a B2C priority. Even B2B companies need to worry about brand authenticity. In a study of 271 business professionals with purchasing power, 89% of C-level executives said company reputation matters the most when making a decision about a software provider. Brand values also have an impact on decision-making. When respondents were asked how they would respond if a provider they were considering had made a business decision that conflicted with their company’s values, 25% of respondents said they would consider a competitive product and 18% said they would drop the company from consideration.

Adapting to fast-changing industries requires new technology

Emerging markets also changed rapidly and courted controversy, highlighting the increased need for companies to keep pace with market shifts. In the world of finance and digital investing, it was a particularly wild year. For example, the drama around the GameStop stock and Robinhood app fueled a media firestorm. However, very few Americans have actually made social media-driven stock purchases. In fact, 75% say not only have they not purchased GameStop or similar stock but they have no interest in ever participating in community-driven trading events.

Bitcoin also broke new investment records during the pandemic, though opinions on Bitcoin are mixed. Among those who’ve heard of it, 22% say it’s a good investment opportunity but not as useful as a currency to purchase goods and services. However, Bitcoin owners are even more bullish on its growth path now than they were three years ago; 64% say they think Bitcoin will be worth significantly more five years from now than it is today, up from 47% in 2018.

The bottom line is this: Companies across different industries will be required to pivot to get ahead of market shifts and will need to leverage different market research solutions to keep pace with customer needs and trends – from flash polls, to brand tracking, to industry tracking and more.

Accurately anticipating customer needs with speed

With a pressing need to get closer to customers and anticipate needs, organizations are rethinking approaches to market research and considering new technology. According to a new McKinsey Global Survey of executives, 49% said increasing use of advanced technologies for business decision-making is here to stay and echoed a familiar finding: Companies that embraced the use of advanced technologies and speed in experimenting and innovating outperformed those that did not. We wanted to lead by example and used our own brand and market insights solution to embark on a bold change – rebranding and relaunching our company into Momentive, an agile experience management company.

Consumer behavior and business models will continue to shift at an accelerated pace and companies need to prepare. The silver lining is that there is new technology to help you understand what your customers care about now and what they’ll need tomorrow, which will place you well ahead of your competitors.

Want to learn more? Visit www.momentive.ai/insights.