Börse Express – Manner, Google and Vöslauer: How strongly do people identify with companies and brands in Austria?

Börse Express – Manner, Google and Vöslauer: How strongly do people identify with companies and brands in Austria?
Börse Express – Manner, Google and Vöslauer: How strongly do people identify with companies and brands in Austria?

Vienna (OTS) – This year’s “Identity Study Austria 2021” shows which companies customers and non-customers identify with the most and what role the pandemic and increasing digitization play in creating an identity. Manner sits at the top for the first time.

For the third time in a row, FehrAdvice & Partners, in collaboration with the market research institute “MindTake Research”, published the Identity Study 2021, in which the identity values ​​of 180 companies from Austria and abroad were surveyed. FehrAdvice & Partners examined in particular the winners and losers of the study as well as the differences in relationship skills in the analog and digital world.

The overall more volatile market environment, faster innovation cycles and open markets mean that many companies and brands are at risk of becoming a commodity, of being freely interchangeable and being replaced by other products and service providers. Customer identity is therefore an important factor in counteracting this risk, because it measures how strongly people identify with a company or a brand. A strong identity leads to higher customer loyalty and to happier customers with less price sensitivity who also act as brand ambassadors. «Due to the global Covid crisis, the consumer behavior of customers is changing. They are becoming more price-sensitive, health-oriented, more economical and are operating more in the digital space than before. A strong customer identity is therefore all the more important and an indispensable part of a company’s competitive strategy, ”explains Alexis Johann, Managing Partner & Executive Behavioral Designer at FehrAdvice & Partners AG. A strong identity is very difficult to copy and thus represents a strong differentiating factor.

The empirical study shows that Austrian brands such as Manner (1st place), Vöslauer (3rd place) and Almdudler (5th place) have very high identity values. The retail chains Hofer (7th place) and Spar (8th place) as well as the ÖAMTC (10th place) also make it into the top 10. However, during the pandemic, the digital brands Google Maps (2nd place), Google (4th place) have grown ), WhatsApp (5th place) and amazon.at (9th place) worked into the top group. This is followed by red-white-red brands such as ÖBB (11), Rauch (12), Römerquelle (13), dm drugstore (14) and “Zurück zum Ursprung” (15). In the media category, ORF won the ranking ahead of Ö3 and Servus TV, and in the case of the financial service providers Erste Bank, ahead of PayPal and Raiffeisen. At the lower end of the identity index are Novomatic, TikTok and N26. For the first time, tourism areas were also surveyed: here the Wörthersee region can point the destinations Salzburg, Southern Styria and Vienna to the top.

Digital gap in retail

The study also draws attention to the fact that there is still a large discrepancy in customer identity between the analog and digital world. This can be seen, for example, in the “digital gap” of brands such as Hofer and Spar, which were unable to transfer their high analog identity into the digital world. These results show that Austrian companies still have great potential in the digital space to position themselves better in the battle for attention. “It surprises us that the upswing caused by the pandemic did not take place among digital grocers. An important reason why most analogue brands fail in their transition to the digital world is that human behavior in the digital world is systematically different from that in the analogue world, ”says Alexis Johann.

Finally, the results of the study shed light on the difference in identity values ​​between customers and non-customers. This discrepancy is particularly clear, for example, with the digital bank N26: It has the highest customer identity and at the same time the lowest non-customer identity in Austria. So while customers appreciate the simplicity and innovation, non-customers rate the security aspect particularly negatively. “In-depth knowledge of the identity drivers and the initiatives derived from them open up the opportunity to increase customer loyalty and turn non-users into customers,” says Johann von FehrAdvice & Partners AG.

The empirical study is carried out annually on the basis of behavioral economic research on identity formation. She explores the question of whether there are differences in the analog and digital world. In addition, the identity values ​​of customers and non-customers are considered separately. The study underlines the importance of a well-founded and precise knowledge of the identity drivers in order to develop targeted prototypes that sustainably strengthen the corporate identity.

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