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A Look Into Consumer Beliefs and Behaviors

Getty Images, one of the largest most well-respected stock photo agencies in the world recently published a global report based on findings from 10,000 consumer surveys taken across 26 countries and its extensive proprietary database. The report shows what kind of visuals marketers globally are looking for. We live in a visual world, and it’s important to know what is meaningful to consumers, whether they are looking for cars, clothes or financial services. Getty calls the endeavor “VisualGPS” and promises to keep updating its findings. Below is a brief overview.

Getty has discovered four, what they call “Forces,” that influence the way consumers behave and ultimately make purchases. Wellness, Technology, Sustainability and Realness.

The term describes more than physical health, it includes mental health, spirituality, family, relationships and being more in tune with ourselves, living a more mindful and intentional life. 

The top three things people care about:
61% say the health and well-being of family members
60% say personal health and well-being
58% say financial security

The people who are more likely to feel strongly about Wellness are women, those who value kindness and joy in their lives, and those with higher incomes. 

What this means for financial services: It’s not just about accounts and numbers, it’s about one’s entire well-being.

Technology plays an enormous role in our everyday lives. It involves so many things, from cars to tracking packages being delivered to your house when you’re not home to connecting with friends and family with multiple apps on your phone.
79% of those surveyed said technology makes them feel connected to other people
82% said technology keeps them connected to what is happening in the world

However, the report also found a lot of worry around cybersecurity.
71% globally believe their country will experience a cyber-attack
76% of those in North America fear a data breach
88% said they need companies to prove they are protecting their privacy and data

What this means for financial services: the privacy and security of your clients’ data is extremely important to your business, so be sure your clients’ information is protected and they know you’ve got it covered. Provide guidance to help them keep their financial and personal information secure. 

Sustainability is something we hear a lot about, but it’s helpful to hear the way the United Nations described it 30 years ago: “Meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”

On average, Getty found consumers are willing to pay 10-15% more if the company selling a product or service does the following*…
• Use sustainable practices
• Are aligned with their values
• Have transparent business practices
• Care about the well-being, safety, and security of customers

Sustainability proves to be important to almost all demographics universally, but its visual representation is no longer just windmills and solar panels. The resale market is growing, as evidenced by the growth in companies like Thred Up, and consumers are getting behind sustainable items such as reusable water bottles and straws. 

What this means for financial services: Help your clients invest according to their principles and be able to educate them on impact investing options.

Being our authentic selves at all times, accepting the differences among us, and having empathy for others is what Getty means by Realness. Consumers are concerned about how companies are representing themselves in categories of inclusivity, transparency and authenticity. The way to describe this from a visual standpoint is “diversity” or “unretouched” or “not Photoshopped.” 
80% said they want companies to show people with different body shapes and types
76% of Gen Z and Millennials want to buy products and services from brands that showcase diversity compared to 61% of Gen X and Baby Boomers  

In part, people who feel strongly about Realness are more likely to look for brands that:
• Exemplify honesty and transparency
• Celebrate and practice diversity
• Aren’t faking being real

What this means for financial services: Understand your brand personality and promise and be true to it. Be honest and transparent and communicate regularly with your clients so they get to know the “unretouched” you.

Read full report here

 *Source: Getty Images Visual Report