How Brands Can Win Over Kiwi Consumers: Distrust to Trust

Default Profile ImageBen O'Connell
kiwi consumers

A first-of-its-kind study has revealed that more than 71 percent of New Zealanders feel brands are not keeping their promises.

The Brand Experience Gap Study, commissioned by Accenture Song, Accenture’s tech-powered creative group, revealed a gap between what brands say they do and Kiwi customers’ experiences.

The study was conducted across eight sectors and 80 of aNew Zealand’s largest brands.

Sector by Sector

The travel and tourism sector fared the worst, with 78 percent of New Zealanders saying airlines, airports, and booking agents are not fully delivering on their promises.

22 percent of people believe that offering the lowest fares or prices is the single most important area for travel brands to improve.

New Zealanders consistently rated brands as falling short on pricing.

Despite Financial Service brands scoring the best of all sectors on living up to promises, 21 percent of New Zealanders who used financial services in the past 12 months felt brands did not have reasonable fees and interest rates.

24 percent of telecommunications customers and 21 percent of energy customers rated low prices as the most important.

Insurance and media companies were the second-worst performers across all sectors, with 72 percent of New Zealand users saying providers don’t fully deliver on their promises.

“Having confidence the provider will pay out” was the single most important area for insurance customers, while media and entertainment customers wanted brands to do better at refreshing content.

Customers most valued the ease of interaction, good customer service, and security of personal details.

The study asked 2,479 New Zealand respondents to rate their interaction and experiences with brands in financial services, telecommunications, insurance, utilities, travel and tourism, retail and grocery, and media and entertainment.

The Inside Scoop

Storm Day, Chief Business Officer at The Monkeys, Aotearoa & Accenture Song, says that Kiwi brands are failing to deliver the very thing their business is built on – its promise to the customer.

“There are multiple factors that influence this: businesses are scrambling to cut costs and protect profits against a strained economic backdrop.

“But when customers see such a vast gap between a brand’s promise and the experiences they encounter, their trust for the brand erodes.

“This insight also corroborates findings in Accenture Song’s Life Trends report, where 37 percent of customers globally think that companies are prioritising higher profits over better customer experience.

“It is critical that organisations unify brand and experience if they want to remain relevant to their customers and grow sustainably. Promising one thing and letting customers down when it comes to the experience is detrimental.

“When you put a meaningful purpose at the heart of an organisation, it becomes the north star and guides a cohesive brand and experience.

“Technology offers enormous potential to help companies live up to their promises. We’re helping clients use Generative AI to personalise the customer experience.”