Through various research found and featured in another amazing blog that looked at virtual events from various creative minds in 2020, I found a surprising November article in The Independent that featured Prince Charles talking about fashion. More interestingly for me, there’s some thought-provoking discussion on the emerging throw-away economy and how damaging it is to the environment.
With these two considerations, I found an unexpected bridge, still with Charles, in an ironically-titled interview from June, “After the pandemic” (still 7 months after and probably beyond, unfortunately). Within, he talks about the global population working together and creating a more sustainable world – how lovely! And with news from the EU (sorry UK) of new legislation for the restriction of producing products that are unfixable, there is a clear consumer shift towards recycling and repair rather than repurchase.
But the manufacturing world has not always been so geared towards this mantra:
“Unfortunately, [repair] is no longer intended for most appliances,” says Hottgenroth, Stilbruch’s operations manager.
But that may be changing. Across Europe, legislation is pushing back against a waste-based economy and restoring for citizens something companies have gradually taken away: the right to repair what they’ve bought.”
When asked, 43%* of UK adults want brands to be more eco-friendly. Of that group, 70% plan to buy from more sustainable and eco-friendly brand and in total, 49% look to recycle their products (higher than the global average of 35%).
For months, and proven by multiple waves of Pulse research, one of my key take-aways from our custom primary research – and the thing I keep on banging on about (sorry team) – is brands that do more from a social standpoint and listen to their consumers (a sentiment driven mostly by younger audiences, those potential lifelong customers). So it makes sense that companies would benefit massively from offering a direct-to-consumer service, where repair is a real (and affordable) option.
We recently asked 250 people their views towards urgent repair of “new” products. For white goods (and larger brown goods), overwhelmingly around 3 in 4 would call the brand/manufacturer to arrange a repair and fewer than 1 in 5 would visit go and visit a repair shop (although that could just be a sign of the pandemic-era). If you can immediately fix your consumers’ products, you mitigate any ill-will, current or future, towards your brand. But what happens if a product is beyond repair?
The most interesting return from the survey data was that 38% said that if the engineer was able to arrange a next-day delivery for a replacement product they would use that service. So you can immediately capture over one-third of an audience that might go to a store or shop online and buy a competitor product. This small service can save you a huge amount of lost revenue as well as maintaining customer advocacy. Sounds good, right?
So that’s exactly why we’re excited to be working with Samsung and a team of engineers who can provide this exact service. Through the use of our bespoke app, Samsung’s Engineers visit, repair and track repairs. But most importantly, it gives Samsung customers the ability to continue to use their preferred products and in the case of broken TVs and laptops, still enjoy their weekend Netflix binge!
Since the pandemic started, 69% of people want to reduce their impact on the environment. So for brands, it’s a crucial time to listen to the consumer. If you don’t, your customers might just find someone else that does.