Brand Speed

While advertising and marketing have arguably long been fast-paced environments, it appears the whole world has put their foot on the accelerator. There may have been a period where brands could take their time to deliver products or services or respond to complaints from consumers in a more leisurely way, but not so anymore.

We demand everything NOW! In the social sharing landscape people now have instant access to view, review and purchase almost anything. As a result, brands are learning to be available…all the time. I am a big fan of Live Chat, and think it is far superior to calling and going through a myriad of audio-prompts before I can actually reach someone. Live Chat allows me to get answers quickly and that’s what we all want – speed.

Everyone is online now, almost all the time with their smartphones, browsing the web, reading reviews and shopping. According to comScore, U.S. holiday season e-commerce spending rose from $29M in 2009 to $56M in 2015.

Brands being speedy is not new. It was way back in 1982 when Fed-Ex launched the fast talking ad promoting the slogan “When it absolutely, positively has to be there overnight.”

The difference is that for a long time these were specialty services. The Fed-Ex campaign was targeted to businesses, not individual consumers. Compare that with the growing popularity of Amazon Prime, Netflix and other streaming services. Whereas it used to be that a few select services had the ability to rush when absolutely, positively necessary, now it is desired and expected by everyone, all the time.

I doubt millennials appreciate the ease with which they can watch a TV program or movie these days. I recall the trips to the video store to select a movie and hope that one of the two copies of the popular titles were in. Now, when selecting a movie, I have On-Demand from my cable provider, Instant videos on Amazon and Netflix, among others to make a choice and within minutes I can be watching.

Customers continue to want brands to deliver faster and faster. Quick service is not just for pizza deliveries (remember Domino’s 30 minutes or less). Whether it is the same day war between Amazon,Google, Walmart or Instacart for grocery delivery, or Uber or Lyft’s timely car service (no hopeful waiting for a taxi to arrive) most brands are looking for ways to speed the process from order to delivery.

It is not just delivery of ordered items that consumers are demanding to be quick. Another area where brands must now speed up is when consumers aren’t happy about something.

Research by The Social Habit found that 32% of respondents who have ever attempted to contact a brand, product, or company through social media expect a response within 30 minutes. Another study, a few years ago found that 72% of people who complain on Twitter expect a response within an hour.

Brands can no longer afford to be slow. Consumers will go elsewhere if they are not satisfied with the speed at which brands deliver or respond. Are you living in the fast lane or stuck by the side of the road?

Which brands are up to speed and which need to speed up?