Diffusion’s 2019 Everything is Tech Report


Tech innovation moves at a dizzying pace, meaning brands today have more consumer engagement channels available than ever before. However, exploring and integrating new technology doesn’t come without a sizeable investment, so knowing which innovations will drive consumer interest and improve brand perception and reputation is a question every brand striving for relevance in today’s crowded media landscape must be prepared to answer.

To shed light on the issue, we at Diffusion decided to investigate how adopting, implementing and experimenting with emerging technology affects consumers’ perceptions of brands and purchasing patterns in the 2019 Everything is Tech Report. We found that both legacy brands and disruptors can no longer afford not to explore emerging technologies, with these new engagement channels impacting brand perceptions at a staggering rate, as well as impressively pushing the needle on consumer likeliness to purchase from and recommend these brands to friends and family.

Legacy Brands Have More Skin in the Game

It’s no secret that investing in new technologies can be costly, but the data shows that the costs of not innovating can be much higher. Our report found that 46 percent of Americans had a higher expectation of legacy brands to be actively experimenting with new technology compared to direct to consumer and startup brands. With new, disruptive startups biting at the heels of legacy brands in almost every industry, exploring emerging technologies is an effective strategy to maintain an image of innovation and a commitment to staying cutting-edge, no matter how long a company has been in business.

In the Eyes of Consumers, Not all Emerging Technologies Are Made Equal

Every brand wants to reach its audience more impactfully, but where to start and which technologies to focus on can prove a daunting decision. The 2019 Everything is Tech Report shows Augmented Reality (AR) is the way to go. Over a quarter of Americans chose AR as the tech most associated with being perceived as innovative. AR is flexible, interactive and engaging, and implementing it is a surefire way to show consumers a commitment to chasing the cutting edge. Other technologies, such as chatbots, proved far less effective in impacting consumers’ perception of innovation for a brand.

The Bottom Line

Perception undoubtedly has a direct and profound effect on a brand’s success and longevity. Increased interest, relevance and profits come with the territory when consumers perceive a brand as being innovative – especially so in today’s super-competitive business climate. In fact, 1 in 6 (16%) consumers are more likely to spend money with brands they perceive as being innovators, and even more were more likely to recommend an innovative brand to friends and family. Driving positive perception and heightened purchase intent are the goals of every communications and marketing campaign, so the data paints a clear picture – ignore emerging tech at your own peril.

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