Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Are Germans really so demanding?

A recent survey on international consumer attitudes showed that German consumers are the most difficult in the world. As widely reported in the German press, they tend to be extremely demanding in their purchasing decisions.

German consumers score areas such as value for money, innovation, price and a tailor-made purchasing process higher than consumers in other developed markets.  Fulfilling these demands may seem a daunting prospect to any British exporter but it is worth the effort.  After all, a satisfied customer will be an advocate for your products so you need to develop trust in your brand.

And trust is another value that scored highly in the German psyche.  However, this can only be achieved on a one-to-one, personal basis. A corporate image and philosophy can be built online.  But personal interaction and a tailor-made customer journey cements trust. This can, naturally, be difficult when dealing with potential clients abroad as you need to communicate in German and understand cultural norms.

Going back to the survey, my overriding opinion is that German consumers are misunderstood.  Germans seem very demanding - but maybe that is just an Anglo-Saxon interpretation of their inherent logical buying process. They need to know everything about a product; they want to compare it to similar products; they have to make the most informed and best purchase.  And that is why they ask more questions and need more information than other consumers.  By asking all these questions and wanting to know all these facts, perhaps they are perceived as being demanding when, in fact, they are only being "German"!

Once you understand the mind-set of the German consumer, you can adjust your advertising messages, marketing / promotional literature and general approach to the market in order to satisfy these needs. You just need a little bit of market knowledge and forward planning.  Contact me if you have any questions.

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