Google companies

How Google is helping businesses navigate brand purpose in a value-driven world – WWD

After surviving a global pandemic, disproportionate impacts on women, an awakening of racial injustice and a climate crisis, “we’re all different people now,” said Kellie Fitzgerald, chief commerce officer of detail at Google. And it’s not hard to believe, she told the Women in Power audience, as she reflected on her own changes in personal, professional and consumer behavior over the past three years.

And then 2022 brought a new set of challenges for consumers facing financial uncertainty, which is once again impacting buying behavior, including purchase intent. All of this, Fitzgerald said, ties into brand purpose, as consumers have become more connected to personal values, which directly impacts how they buy.

“Whether someone chooses to buy an electric car to do their bit for environmental sustainability, or simply direct their $5 to a black-owned cafe, consumers are actively buying their values ​​in nearly every transaction. today,” Fitzgerald said. “Now, at the same time, consumers are experiencing rising prices on essentials like gas, groceries and rent, so they are being forced to make tough choices about how and where to spend. We are seeing a significant increase in the number of consumers looking for deals, looking for ways to stay on a budget, or even buying in bulk to save. However, the importance of value has not diminished the importance of values.

Time and again, Google’s data analytics show that search and purchase data proves that “it’s not a choice, it’s both and more,” she said.

One of the ways personal values ​​show up when consumers search on Google is through the modifiers consumers use. A “magic” keyword for queries is “for”, which essentially serves to convey a consumer’s personal value and identity – for example, a search for “long-lasting hair products for graying hair”, which shows not only that the consumer wants to find products that respect the environment. friendly products, but also indicates their age.

“It really changes your ability to connect with them in a meaningful way and understanding their identity makes you more likely to serve them and delight them with your product and what you have to offer,” Fitzgerald said. This data is also relevant, she said, as prices continue to rise as consumers search for key items with modifiers for promo codes.

According to Google data, searches for the terms “cheap” and “best” together have increased by 40% year over year. Searches for “designer outlet” have also seen a 90% increase since last year.

In addition to price, durability has been a priority for buyers, Fitzgerald said, although consumers still want to find the best options at accessible prices. With that in mind, Fitzgerald singled out fast fashion brands as a potential winner if they continue to offer more sustainable options and scale on environmental impact.

“Our main goal is to be useful, and we really respect the possibility of responding to the identities and values ​​that people share with us when they search,” said Fitzgerald of his team at Google. “Our goal is to partner with many brands like all of you to ensure that you can go beyond simply discussing your brand values ​​and integrating and activating them at every touchpoint as differentiating characteristics of your brand. your product and your service.”