Do manufacturers really know what consumers want?
According to a new global study released by Underwriters Laboratories, a safety science company, there are several critical gaps between manufacturer and consumer priorities. The study reviews several industries including high-tech, building materials, and smart appliances.
Noteworthy differences in manufacturer and consumer attitudes towards products include:
- Product quality dominates. While many issues play an important role with manufacturers, it is clear from the data that product quality consistently dominates in terms of its importance and appears to be an area where there is a sizable gap in consumer confidence. Manufacturers in both developed and emerging markets rank quality as highly important; however, the majority of consumers indicate they feel manufacturers use the lowest cost materials regardless of quality.
- Health impact is a rising priority. While the environmental impact of products and manufacturer processes is still important for both consumers and manufacturers, the health impact of products emerged as the top rising priority for consumers. A gap in priorities can be seen in how they view environmental products: manufacturers see the impact to the environment as more important than the impact to human health but, for consumers, the health impact is more important.
- Improvement is desired in transparency and traceability. With globalization a key factor adding to the complexity of manufacturer and consumer considerations, issues such as transparency and traceability are increasingly important. While manufacturers understand that there is a demand and desire for supply chain transparency and traceability, consumers don’t believe manufacturers are doing enough in these areas.
To read the full report visit The Product Mindset 2013.