The Omni Consumer
According to a report recently published by IBM's Institute of Business Value, 2007 was the year of the "omni consumer". The report is a result of research Big Blue conducted with more than 16,900 consumers throughout the year (as well as some in-the-mall video research to bring it all to life).
Pretty ho-hum stuff overall: consumers use the internet to help make buying decisions, they care about the environment and they demand greater transparency and control. IBM didn't need to poll 16,900 people to get to any of this.
But amid the bland findings lies this gem:
"Two-thirds of U.S. banking customers don't feel valued by their banks and are unwilling to commit to a deeper relationship."
Wowza. Banks are classic paper tiger brands. People do business with them sheerly out of habit. The brands are established and supported through retail presence and advertising. Service levels and innovation (e.g. real value) are so rare in consumer banking that most people have been trained to expect very little. Banks will need to work quickly if they want to reverse these really terrible numbers.
Hey IBM: how about some other industry-specific findings?