Only one in five connected consumers in New Zealand trust global brands, according to Kantar TNS' latest Connected Life research.
While New Zealanders spend 4.7 hours online every day, the opportunity for brands to engage with them is under threat as consumers are failing to see the value exchange from sharing personal data and are sceptical of brand motivations.
But it’s not just New Zealanders that lacks trust in global brands. The study revealed this trust varies significantly between emerging and developed markets, with Singapore seeing approximately one third (35 percent) of consumers trusting big global brands, while in China it’s two thirds (57 percent). However, consumer trust falls significantly in developed markets like Australia, where just 19 percent trust big global brands. New Zealand's one in five (21 percent) is the second lowest.
The research also reveals that mistrust filters through to the content that people are consuming online, as just 17 percent of consumers in New Zealand consider the content they see on social media reliable. Half (51 percent) also have concerns about how much control the social media networks have over the content that they see on their feeds.
And despite the ever-growing benefits that can be delivered through sharing data, New Zealanders are cautious about how much of their personal information they share online. Almost two thirds (62 percent) of consumers in New Zealand object to connected devices monitoring their activities even if it makes their lives easier and 58 percent have concerns about the amount of personal data that brands have on them. The study shows that people in New Zealand are becoming increasingly aware of the price they are paying for their connected lifestyles, and many feel on the losing end of an unfair exchange.
The research also looked into advances in technology, including those that aim to make consumers’ lives simpler and easier. It found that instead of experiencing that ease, people feel increasingly distracted and harassed by it and 28 percent of 16- to 24-year-olds in New Zealand think they use their mobile phones too much.
One of those new technologies is ‘buy buttons’ in social and mobile payments that are designed to make e-commerce smoother. However, despite the mature digital ecosystem in New Zealand, only 22 percent of New Zealanders say that they are willing to pay for products using their mobile phone. It’s clear that for many people, the existing payment systems still work, therefore brands and businesses need to truly demonstrate the benefit to using new payment options if they want acceptance to increase.
Reflecting on the findings, Michael Nicholas, global lead of connected solutions at Kantar TNS says trust is fragile and while brands in emerging countries see higher levels of consumer trust today than those in developed ones, they shouldn’t take it for granted.
"To build and protect trust, brands need to put the customer first," he says.
"That means understanding their motivations, understanding the right moments to engage with them, respecting their time as valuable, and being more transparent about how and when they collect and use their personal data. Above all, that means putting the customer first – something that many marketers have forgotten to do.”
The findings of the 2017 Connected Life study are a result of Kantar TNS surveying 70,000 people across 56 countries and conducting 104 in-depth interviews.