Trust and value trump fancy features: Aussies’ message to business leaders

Dan Martin, Vice President, Head of Digital Partnerships, ANZ, Mastercard

A new report has given compelling guidance for business leaders looking to innovate in the year ahead, and while many firms prioritise integration of the most up-to-date technology, what consumers are really looking for is trusted solutions that offer exceptional value.

What were the findings of the survey?

The AU-NZ Business Innovators Index 2022 by Harvard Business Review Analytic Services in association with Mastercard draws on perspectives from 397 business leaders and 1,011 citizens in ANZ and suggests that holding consumer trust is critical to successful innovation.

The report revealed a gap in expectations around what accountability means to businesses and consumers. It highlighted that AU-NZ businesses are innovating in how they approach ESG, but that top-down approach may not resonate with clients who build trust through alignment of their personal values, with nearly two-thirds of (61%) consumers agreeing they have a better customer experience when they know the company’s values align with theirs.

It found that 68% placed a very high degree of value on brand trust when buying products, with 75% claiming they won’t spend money with a business they don’t trust. According to the study, the most meaningful areas of innovation for Trans-Tasman clients are those that:

  • Lower costs/pricing (76%)
  • Prioritise the safety of consumers (63%)
  • Offer convenience and ease of use (63%)
  • Ensure data security and information privacy (62%)

These findings highlight the need for safe and lower-cost solutions, while also revealing a disconnect between what innovation means to businesses, and what it means to consumers across Australasia – with the areas of innovation that matter least to consumers being:

  • The most up-to-date technology (27%)
  • Personalization and customisation (23%)
  • Touchless or virtual human interaction (12%)

What do the findings mean for ANZ business leaders?

“As consumers look for reliability, trust gives firms a license to innovate. They have shown that it isn’t always the latest tech that excites them, but rather solutions that are easy to use, prioritise their safety, and come from firms that have earned their trust, time and time again,” said Dan Martin, Vice President, Head of Digital Partnerships, ANZ, Mastercard.

“The most powerful innovation you can deliver is one that delivers more value to consumers. After a couple of years where ‘digital transformation’ were the two words on every business agenda, what’s needed now is to meet consumers where they are – prioritising health and safety, making their lives easier and ensuring the security and privacy of their information.”

Martin says the most successful innovators in the years ahead are likely to be those who can be “the best at the basics”, with 78% claiming they don’t trust brands whose product delivery is unreliable. What’s more, businesses must strive to get it right every time, with 45% of respondents rating previous interactions or experiences with a firm as a primary element in evaluating trust (compared to between 31% and 41% of consumers in other regions).

“This report reminds us that when it comes to innovation organisations should be looking to add value, build trust and ultimately, improve people’s lives. In today’s market climate, if you lose sight of this core objective, you’re limiting your ability to make an impact,” Martin said.

To download the full report, click here.