Expectations move at the speed of the consumer. They never diminish; they only increase, and they increase all the time. Over the past decade, consumer expectations have increased about 18% a year. Brands, on average, only manage to keep up by about 9%, so there’s always a pretty significant gap between what consumers expect and what brands deliver. Brands that deliver best are always the category leaders.
Smart move? Well, when we looked at the Fast Food category in our 2016 Customer Loyalty Engagement Index, we saw a couple of notable shifts. The list of Fast Food brands had gotten longer, and the names consumers had added were those of, well, basic, last-century fast food brands. An expanded list of brands is something that only happens when consumers are looking for something to fill that gap between what they really want and what current brands are delivering.