"We just need to educate consumers." It's a tactic often referenced when trying to bring new consumers into the fold, whether referring to changing consumer preferences, consumer misconceptions or just a simple lack of awareness of a product or its benefits. There are legitimate reasons to engage in consumer education, but the approach could be reconsidered, shifting away from the current tactics and enabling consumers to educate themselves.
Kearney Consumer Institute data reveals consumers take credit for doing their own research. In addition, 63 percent of respondents to our 2022 Consumer Education Study said they spend at least 15 minutes researching new purchases, and 62 percent reported checking at least three sources. Shoppers rely on fellow consumers for information and are most trusting of advice from family and customer reviews, with product experts and friends close behind.
Ultimately, this prompts a larger question: should brands abandon consumer education?