At Radius, I partner with and support growth for clients across virtually all industries and product/service categories. And one area that has been super important and continues to intensify is the need to ensure privacy and protection of personal information. In our own industry, market research, we follow best practices to ensure the anonymity and privacy of the consumers we engage with as well as of the companies with whom we work. Brands should do the same. Those that are (or are perceived to be) transparent and respect consumer privacy, enjoy high levels of trust, a pillar of brand health. Brands that don’t maintain these standards have an additional growth barrier to overcome.
Brands that are (or are perceived to be) transparent and respect consumer privacy, enjoy high levels of trust, a pillar of brand health. Brands that don’t maintain these standards have an additional growth barrier to overcome.”
Brands need to build a comprehensive view of data privacy.
Data breaches that reveal personally identifiable information (PII) regularly hit the headlines. Businesses take steps to guard and protect their customers from this type of threat, but what about consumer data that companies hold that is actively sold and shared with others? Couple this with privacy policies that are non-existent or overly long and riddled with confusing, obtuse language that most consumers won’t take the time to read or understand. It’s something that, once brought to light, can damage your brand’s trust and hamper growth.
Data privacy is not a new concept, the Forbes Technology Council wrote about this back in 2014 (The Impact of Data Privacy on Your Business, Keith Johnson). And in 2021, the Deloitte Data Privacy report indicated that two-thirds of those surveyed are concerned about how online brands are using their data, and the KPMG Corporate Data Responsibility report shows that 86% feel a growing concern about data privacy. Yet, brands continue to fall short in this area, particularly auto manufacturers. The Mozilla Foundation recently published its findings regarding auto manufacturers and privacy and the news wasn’t positive for consumers. Their title says it all: “It’s Official: Cars Are the Worst Product Category We Have Ever Reviewed for Privacy.” I encourage you to read the full article.
Certainly, data is a potentially lucrative asset for manufacturers, with many revenue-generating uses, but is this perspective short-sighted? Is the potential backlash worth it? Might a brand emerge to differentiate itself from the pack in terms of data privacy and become a threat to your market share? Should you be that brand, and how difficult will it be —will it require a change in policies, partnerships, communications, engineering, all of these?
A clear approach to data best practices protects brands and builds trust with consumers.
It stands to reason that there is need for the auto industry to evaluate (or reevaluate) its position on gathering, classifying, sharing, and guarding user data, all users of their products — owners/purchasers, renters, etc. And more information is needed to determine the best path forward. Part of this path is via market research, to better understand consumer awareness, sensitivity, sentiment, expectations, relative impact on purchase decision-making, and brand perceptions when it comes to this topic.
Please consider the above and reach out to us here at Radius Auto to start your brand’s journey.