Global consumers protect themselves from online ads

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Every 6th blocks internet ads, but we don’t use that much ad blockers in Bulgaria – only 7% have it currently.

This means the potential reach on social networks is up to 73% of Bulgarian internet users.

The data is revealed by Connected Life – a TNS branded solution, finding a crossing point between digital channels usage and the tendency to share online, including on the topic of brands.

Connected Life study shows a national representative picture of digital consumers in Bulgaria.

The included segmentation of digital users unravels new oportunities for building focused targeting strategies.

To find out more about Connected Life contact:

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Happy shoppers spend more

Retailers and brands alike have lost touch with shoppers’ needs and as a result they are missing one of the most important truths in retail: that happy shoppers spend more.



When companies ask themselves “how can I sell more of my brand” rather than “how can I get shoppers to spend more”, they immediately shift focus away from the shopper and find themselves imposing merchandising, POS and shelf structure that fights against shopper needs. The result is decreasing shopper satisfaction, which has damaging results on spend: 30 per cent of shoppers walk away from a category they have browsed without buying anything at all and 20 per cent of planned purchases never make it into shoppers baskets.


TNS’s global research into shopper behaviour proves that when manufacturers and retailers instead focus on making shoppers happy, they deliver significant increases in both brand and category spend. To achieve this, they need to commit to an individual-level understanding of the missions and consumer usage occasions that drive shopper behaviour, and they need to distinguish between the very different needs of “Decided” and “Open” shoppers. By helping shoppers to navigate stores quickly and without frustration, they free up more time for category engagement and the consideration of additional purchases. And they also achieve additional benefits in terms of retailer loyalty and lifetime customer value. Once happy shoppers start spending more, many of the challenges and objectives for both brands and retailers start to take care of themselves.

Key action points:

  • Adopt speed of shopping as the central KPI for retailers and manufacturers – research consistently shows that reducing the time it takes shoppers to spend is the best possible indicator that they will spend more
  • Recognise that shopper mission and consumer usage occasion are the key drivers of shopper behaviour, and invest in understanding these at an individual level
  • Distinguish between the needs of “Decided” and “Open” shoppers – and remember that the vast majority of shoppers are Decided; structure shelves for ease of navigation, whilst facilitating product comparisons that reflect Open shoppers’ priorities for the category


Find out more:

What does it take to make your brand a Hero?

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It’s a universal archetype that dominates the human consciousness and occupies an emotional space many brands aspire to.

But taking on the Hero role demands a very different approach depending on the market you are operating in.

We present the essential playbook for would-be Heroes, exploring the charismatic power of this hugely important emotional theme, whilst revealing the stark and surprising contrasts in what being a Hero means for different cultures:

  • How ‘stalwart and straightforward’ changes to ‘mixed-up and on a mission’ when you cross the Atlantic from the US to the UK
  • The essential differences between France’s sensuous rebels and Germany’s finely honed heroes
  • The significant contrasts between the Hero’s relationship to authority in India and China
  • Staying alert to evolving expressions of the Hero archetype
  • The brands that have mastered the different expressions of the Hero – and what you can learn from them


The other side of the story

Brands are obsessed with the art of telling stories. However, only by unearthing deeper narratives within their audience’s minds can they tell original tales that connect on a deeper level. The fact is though, that many brands are too busy telling stories to listen to, interpret and challenge them. In this feature, we reveal the listening techniques that can turn brands into standout storytellers, perfecting the art of interpreting and connecting with the hidden stories motivating an audience:

- The intersection between story and memory

- How the brain’s existing stories govern our response to brand narratives

- Why original, compelling stories are those that link to deeper stories in the minds of the audience

- How new qualitative techniques can detect the stories that aren’t being told, and turn brands into original, compelling storytellers.

Find out more

Customers defect to competition even when companies perform well

More than half of customers are likely to defect to a competitor brand when a product needs updating or their contract expires, according to a new study from global research consultancy TNS. Almost two thirds (60%) of customers are likely to defect to another brand when buying new electronic products; 57% would replace their car with a different brand; and 64% would opt for another manufacturer when selecting white goods like a washing machine.


According to TNS’s global analysis of 40,000 customers, companies can no longer ensure loyalty and spend just by providing a reliable, consistent service. In fact, many of those who defected to a competitor actually felt their current provider was performing well.

Looking across the banking, utility and telecoms industries, TNS identified that more than 50% of companies are failing to translate good performance in terms of product and service delivery into customer preference for their brand. According to TNS’s proprietaryTRI*Mtool, European mobile network providers were found to have the most notable ‘performance-preference gap’. One fifth of customers rate their provider’s performance highly but admit they still would not necessarily prefer them over competitors.  

Companies that fail to address this gap are wasting millions of pounds trying to improve their individual performance in the eyes of customers, while failing to understand the risk posed by other providers, and more importantly, how attractive these competitors are to their customers.

Stefan Schmelcher, Global Head of Customer Experience at TNS, said: “Given the fierce competition in many markets, securing valuable customer relationships requires a deep understanding of what drives your customers’ behaviour.

“The most successful businesses are able to translate what’s best about their performance into an active customer preference. They don’t just invest in any service or promotion; they get smarter about the customer experiences that matter and deliver on the bottom line. Simply throwing resources at different touchpoints – without understanding how to build a personalised service – will only undermine long-term credibility.”

TNS found that customers with the strongest relationships to their providers are three times more likely to stay loyal, six times more likely to recommend the brand and five times more likely to buy additional products and services from the company.

Schmelcher continued: “In each case, companies need to uncover the optimal balance between what customers want and what delivers profitable growth for the business. The reality for today’s brands is that best isn’t always right. The most successful companies permanently question their investment in different customer experiences. They know where they gain the most advantage and build their proposition around customers who love and advocate their brands. At TNS we call this the ‘Customer Code’. Understanding the hierarchy of importance for customer needs, and questioning the level of investment in different experiences is the essential starting point for this.”


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