Subscription TV brands ‘like narcissists’ and ‘failing to build trust’ with consumers | Major Businesses | Business
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Alerting the industry of potential troubles in the current TV and over-the-top (OTT) video business, research from subscriber intelligence specialist Singula Decisions is warning that subscription brands consistently show ‘narcissistic’ tendencies, which can erode subscriber trust and ultimately make them disloyal.
Singula report 14July2020
The upshot, warns report, is that US and UK streaming brands such as Netflix, Amazon Prime and Disney+ are missing opportunities to connect with consumers’ psychological and emotional needs. Moreover, it adds that rather than meaningful connections, brands seem to develop ‘ambivalent’ or ‘avoidant’ attachment to subscribers when meeting the needs of a subscriber requires an understanding of their mood, mind-set and the layers of human emotion.

The new study found that a wide range of OTT streaming services, in both entertainment and sports, fail to connect with consumers on a deeper emotional and psychological level, by not understanding the fundamental drivers motivating a subscriber’s behaviours and interactions and invading their boundaries when asking for financial commitment too soon. The report also suggest that the services are insufficiently tailoring the service to meet the moods and mindset of each customer, thus creating ‘avoidant’ or ‘ambivalent’ attachments to subscribers that do not build loyal relationships. They were also found to be ineffectively providing subscribers with the ability to share more about themselves and to listen to their feedback.

Worryingly, the research found that dissatisfaction and suspicion can begin from the moment a subscriber ‘joins’ a service, if asked to hand over financial information or commit to the brand too soon. While subscribers are at their most enthusiastic in the first months of engagement, brands rarely take advantage of their potential to become advocates.

“Many brands do not listen to subscribers, nor do they create a safe enough space for subscribers to come forward and give more. In fact, brands often have unconscious narcissistic tendencies and are blinded by the belief that customers are only there to serve, by giving ‘strokes’ to the ego – aka money to the account – and helping to build a good reputation,” said qualitative researcher, psychotherapist and director of QualiProjects, Jennifer Whittaker who co-authored the Psychology of a Subscriber report with business psychologist and researcher, Katharina Wittgens. “Unfortunately, brands cannot know subscribers until subscribers give more. But subscribers will only give more if they trust, and they’ll only trust if they don’t feel forgotten.”

Added Singula Decisions CEO Bhavesh Vaghela: “We recognise how tough it can be to build a strong brand and grow a TV subscription business as consumers continue to dip in and out of services every month. We have seen strong consumer brands being created in other sectors such as retail, ecommerce and banking; consumers are loyal to these brands and TV subscription businesses are behind this curve. OTT brands must think differently about how they build a service and experience that best suits the needs of their customers – and do a better job to emotionally connect with their customers to build trust and loyalty.”