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How own-label brands are dialling up desirability - Marketing Week. As post-Brexit price hikes continue to bite, consumers across the UK are opting for own brand products in increasing numbers. According to recent research by Retail Economics, 48% of 2,000 consumers questioned said they would switch to cheaper own-label alternatives if their weekly food shopping bills rose by 3%. Analysts suggest that between now and the conclusion of the Brexit process the price of food imported from the EU is expected to rise by 8%. The price of goods is already up 2.3% compared to the same time last year, according to Kantar Worldpanel, costing the average household an additional £21.31 over the 12 weeks ending 26 March. In an atmosphere of accelerating inflation and declining promotional activity, consumers are turning to own brands as cheaper alternatives.

The market share of supermarket own brands has risen 5% over the 12 week period. READ MORE: How Tesco is taking on the discounters with value own-label rebrand Carving out a niche Acting as a complement to brands. Marketing & PR. EE on why its Kevin Bacon collaboration 'doesn't feel cheap' EE has launched a new above-the-line campaign that talks up the lengths it goes to ensure its customers get a 4G connection. The lighthearted ad is fronted once again by Kevin Bacon, who travels the country under the guise of an EE engineer. He installs a 4G mast in the snowy mountains of Scotland and operates one of the phone network’s 4G-boosting drones, which it recently tested during a cricket match at the Oval.

The campaign ties into EE’s mission statement to cover 95% of the UK landmass with 4G by the end of 2020. READ MORE: EE scraps CMO role as BT insists it will keep the brand EE first used the Hollywood actor back in 2012 and says it sees Bacon a “living personification” of its brand. He explains: “We are very keen for familiarity and we test Kevin with our key audiences regularly and he’s showing no signs of wear. “Celebrity or brand ambassadors must feel like family and part of the team or it just doesn’t work and will look cheap. Personalisation drive. Consumer confidence 'stuck in the doldrums' as people 'hold their breath' over Brexit - Marketing Week. Consumer confidence is “stuck in the doldrums” as uncertainty over the trigger of Article 50 and Brexit negotiations leave consumers “holding their breath”.

The latest figures from GfK’s consumer confidence index (CCI) show overall confidence at -6 in March, the same rate as in February. The major purchase index crept up by one point in March to 6, but is still five points below where it was a year ago. Joe Staton, head of market dynamics at GfK, does not expect any big uptick in consumer confidence over the next few months either as the UK begins difficult negotiations with the EU and Scotland continues to push for another independence referendum.

“There’s definitely a sense in which everybody was holding their breath until the first shots were fired in the Brexit negotiations in the form of this week’s Article 50 letter. Three of the other four measure in the CCI stayed the same in March. How to create on-demand experiences for today's highly demanding consumers - Marketing Week. Customers in today’s on-demand world have become accustomed to getting what they want, when they want. Any brand that cannot live up to these demands faces criticism for failing to offer a seamless customer experience.

Amazon has been credited with setting the gold standard for online customer experience, taking its offer up several notches with the UK debut of one-hour delivery service Prime Now in June 2015 and the launch in August of its Dash Button, a service that allows consumers to order and restock products through their Amazon app.

The boom in on-demand players has seen food delivery apps Just Eat, Hungryhouse and Deliveroo spawn startup rivals such as Jinn and Pronto. While in June this year private car hire giant Uber muscled into the sector with the launch of UberEats. READ MORE: Amazon brings instant home shopping to the UK with Dash launch READ MORE: Amazon ups ecommerce competition as it brings one-hour delivery to London Delivery innovation Flexibility is king Personal service. Why customers leave before buying and how to win them back. Getting a customer to consider a brand, see its advertising, research a product or service, and begin the process of buying is becoming a huge challenge.

Consumers are continuously bombarded with choice in every sector, so when a customer doesn’t hit that ‘buy’ button finding out why is vital. Offline and online, from journey mapping to testing physiological reactions and brand interactions, businesses are investing in researching the moments that potential customers drop off. A survey, conducted by YouGov and commerce cloud provider GT Nexus, aims to shed light on the reasons why 18- to 34-year-olds have switched out one of their favourite brands in the past 12 months.

It shows that the major disloyalty factors fall into the behind-the-scenes domains of operations, logistics and supply chain management, all the more important as UK millennials put a premium on product quality and availability. Measurement and mapping READ MORE: How to connect customer journeys from research to purchase. Consumers will spend more on simple brand experiences. Being classed as ‘simple’ isn’t always seen as a positive but when it comes to brand proposition, being simple is most definitely an advantage. The majority of consumers (62%) are prepared to pay more for a simple experience, new research finds, while 61% would recommend a brand if it has a clear proposition that saves them time.

Offering a straightforward shopping experience that meets consumers’ weekly shopping needs – without confusing them with complex promotions – is central to Aldi‘s simplicity, according to UK and Ireland corporate buying and marketing director Adam Zavalis. “We source the very best quality products, understand what size variants the customer wants and then offer the options they really need,” he says. “In this ever-evolving world with the time pressures we’re all under, we don’t believe that customers want to have to choose between multiple varieties of olive oil, for example.” Aldi’s closest rival Lidl comes in second, followed by Google, Netflix and Ikea. How to use artificial intelligence to enhance customer experience. Artificial intelligence has been around since 1956 and has made some giant leaps in that time: beating the best human at chess, the best human at US gameshow Jeopardy and recently beating the best human at complex strategy game Go.

Brands have only recently started adopting artificial intelligence for core consumer services. Google’s voice recognition technology now claims 98% accuracy and Facebook’s DeepFace is said to recognise faces with a 97% success rate. IBM’s Watson, which uses artificial intelligence to perform its question-answering function, is 2,400% “smarter” today than when it achieved the Jeopardy victory five years ago. There is no doubt that the relationship between men and machines is changing, and brands are on the cusp of making artificial intelligence an everyday element of their customer offerings. Customer self-service Swedbank’s artificial intelligence platform has been operating for more than a year and now deals with up to 80% of its 30,000 monthly enquiries.

Collaboration is key to customer experience - Marketing Week. Joined up customer experiences that are differentiated and relevant are proven drivers of business growth, according to consultancy Brand Learning, but some business practices are getting in the way of delivering those experiences. The consultancy’s Joined Up Customer Experience study, sourced from 1,000 contributors, finds that siloed behaviour and ways of working are the greatest barrier, named by 48% of respondents.

It says that constant restructures to address this are creating more silos and failing to enable people to work together to deliver for customers in practice, with little focus on working practices and cultural barriers between teams. This results in more bureaucracy in processes (35% say) and employees that do not feel empowered (29%). The survey also shows that strategies are too focused on today’s pain points versus future opportunities and that functional planning and execution is too rigid.

However, businesses are not performing well in joined up customer experience.