Talking about brands and personal data

05 Jul 2018 | Research & Business Knowledge

Talking about brands, and do we really care about our data?

ICG member Andrew Smith launched Customers in Britain, an annual snapshot of consumer behaviour and attitudes, back in 2005. The survey polls 1,000 adults in Britain. Data partner was ICG online company Survey Mechanics. For a free 2018 survey summary or full report price see

Below we highlight two topics covered on the 2018 survey, recently published.

Brand conversations and advocacy today

The traditional British stiff upper lip in the face of poor service is very much history: today, both bad and good experience of products and services gets discussed – a lot!

Most major brands know this and invest considerably in social media listening services within their wider customer service function. Our survey reveals:

  1. A consistent 8 in 10 talked about both positive and negative brand/product experiences over the last year – mostly via word of mouth, email or phone
  2. In the last year 45% have left negative feedback or comments on any website or blog, but 61% have left positive comments – underlining how great experiences can indeed promote strong brand advocacy
  3. A steadily increasing 3 in 10 are at least occasionally involved in direct social media discussions with brands or companies. This varies from 39% of the 18-34 age group to only 5% of those aged 65 plus

In the face of GDPR legislation, do consumers care about their personal data?

With new EU wide legislation taking effect in late May, our fieldwork in April coincided with significant coverage of data issues in the media.

Perhaps it comes as no surprise that 7 in 10 say they have some concerns about how their data is used. Added coverage also seems to have inspired more of us to pay attention to online privacy: almost 6 in 10 saying they had checked Facebook settings in the last year. But when we buy products or services only a third ‘occasionally check T&Cs relating to personal data use’.

Without doubt we are more aware of our data than ever before, with so many online transactions. But there seems relatively high trust (or apathy?) in the companies we deal with and how they will use our data: perhaps GDPR legislation simply helps us believe that we live in a more secure, accountable society?