What Does It Mean To Be Brand Agnostic? Brand agnostic In A Nutshell

Brand agnostic refers to a consumer who does not show a preference for one brand over another. Brand agnostic consumers typically possess several characteristics. They are motivated by discounts and bargains, associate value and inspiration with their consumption, and tend to search for ethical products at the best available price. Brand agnostic consumers contradict themselves to some extent. While they tend to be price conscious, they also purchase based on emotion and spend more money on brands they resonate with. This can cause brand loyalty, the opposite of brand agnosticism.

Understanding brand agnosticism

Before the digital era when communication was more difficult, infrequent, and required numerous barriers to be crossed, businesses needed to establish brand loyalty as a matter of survival.

Today, however, consumers faced with unlimited choice and a limited attention span tend to be more brand agnostic than previous generations. Brand loyalty has been replaced with a desire for new experiences, with a survey finding that 67% chose a product based on a whim or a preference for variety. From the same study, it was also found that 58% of consumers did not care whether a product was for sale under a national, specialty, or store brand.

With that in mind, a brand agnostic consumer is simply one that holds no preference for one brand over another. While the brand does remain an important factor in some purchase decisions, modern consumers now consider a range of other criteria, such as social responsibility, product quality, innovation, healthiness, and of course value. Supply chain disruptions arising from the COVID-19 pandemic also caused a rapid shift to brand agnosticism as consumers rushed to purchase whatever products were still in stock.

Characteristics of a brand agnostic consumer

According to market research firm Euromonitor International, there are several characteristics of a brand agnostic consumer:

  1. They are motivated by discounts and bargains.
  2. They search for the most ethical products at the most attractive prices.
  3. They associate value and inspiration with their consumption.
  4. They tend to be focused on the quality of a product or service.
  5. They are less concerned with notable brands and labels and more concerned with brands that are personable and with whom they can form an emotional connection.
  6. They can seamlessly switch between a brand or product, and
  7. They choose products and services that deliver value via innovation.

Apparent contradictions of the brand-agnostic consumer

Euromonitor International also noted that brand-agnostic consumers tend to contradict themselves. While many of them search for discounts and bargains, they will also tend to spend more money on products they consider inspirational. This means there is a conflict between emotion and logic, with the former likely to cause a connection that results in brand loyalty and not brand agnosticism.

To at least partly address this contradiction, businesses should endeavor to develop simple, cost-effective products that inspire the consumer. The brand behind the product should also have a purpose the consumer can relate to and possess these four qualities:

  • A customer promise – this must be consistent with brand values and be relevant at all times.
  • Continuous improvement – the business must also derive new insights to make progress. 
  • Trust – this can be facilitated with exemplary customer service and an ability to keep pace with dynamic consumer preferences.
  • Innovation – thinking outside the box is also key to combatting brand agnosticism. 

Connected Business Concepts

Content marketing is one of the most powerful commercial activities which focuses on leveraging content production (text, audio, video, or other formats) to attract a targeted audience. Content marketing focuses on building a strong brand, but also to convert part of that targeted audience into potential customers.
Integrated marketing describes the process of delivering consistent and relevant content to a target audience across all marketing channels. It is a cohesive, unified, and immersive marketing strategy that is cost-effective and relies on brand identity and storytelling to amplify the brand to a wider and wider audience.
Grassroots marketing involves a brand creating highly targeted content for a particular niche or audience. When an organization engages in grassroots marketing, it focuses on a small group of people with the hope that its marketing message is shared with a progressively larger audience.
Writing a copy is the art of crafting catchy texts to persuade a particular demographic. “A copy” is the written content aimed at converting impressions to clicks and converting clicks to high sales. Any form of writing that persuasively requests an action from your audience is called copywriting.
Buzz marketing leverages the power of word-of-mouth advertising to create products or services with enough novelty that they go viral. In many cases, buzz marketing leverages on versatile content that can easily scale and be readapted to various contexts and fear of missing out (FOMO) to amplify the effect of word-of-mouth campaigns.
Inbound marketing is a marketing strategy designed to attract customers to a brand with content and experiences that they derive value from. Inbound marketing utilizes blogs, events, SEO, and social media to create brand awareness and attract targeted consumers. By attracting or “drawing in” a targeted audience, inbound marketing differs from outbound marketing which actively pushes a brand onto consumers who may have no interest in what is being offered.

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