“88% of consumers in the region would pay more to receive a great brand experience”, says TBWA\RAAD in their NEXT Innovation survey

Brands should leverage innovation and emerging technology to create more impactful experiences: · 92% of consumers say they choose brands that surprise and delight them · 88% of consumers revealed they will pay more to receive a great brand experience · 85% of consumers say that having bad experiences leads to bad buzz

The shift to Web 3.0 with the growth of technologies like the metaverse, gaming, AR or NFTs requires brands to play into unknown territories. Businesses need to move beyond the buzzwords and be truly impactful in those new spaces.

In a survey commissioned by NEXT—TBWA\RAAD’s innovation consultancy—across the UAE and Saudi Arabia, it was revealed that despite a near universal interest in technology (96.7%) and over half of consumers passionate about innovations such as the metaverse, brands are still falling short in terms of using technology to enhance their customers’ experiences. The research also revealed that 88% of consumers will spend more money for a great experience and 92% will choose a brand that they feel surprises and delights them, sending a clear messaging that brands need to do more.

To help brands take their customer engagement to the next level, TBWA\RAAD has launched NEXT, the Middle East’s first creative-led innovation consultancy designed to shape the future of brand experiences today.

Powered by TBWA—The Disruption® Company—which has been named to Fast Company’s list of most innovative companies in the world for the fourth consecutive year in 2022, NEXT connects emerging tech with a deep understanding of culture and brands to disrupt the traditional approaches to customer experience thinking and unlock business and brand opportunities.

Deploying proprietary modules such as Future Mapping (a full innovation pipeline developed for brands based on their business strategic needs, while tapping into the Shifts that are shaping the future), Sprints (a deep dive into one specific opportunity within the 25 Shifts identified as critical for brands in 2022) and Quick Prototyping and Labs (where ideas are produced and delivered through the global network of makers within the TBWA Collective), NEXT is powered by an ecosystem of tech and business experts, creative leaders and strategists who are ready to develop the next generation of brand experiences.

Jennifer Fischer, Chief Innovation Officer heading NEXT at TBWA\RAAD said: “Today more than ever, brands need to step up their game. Consumers in the MENA region are tech-savvy and are hungry for what’s next – brands must make innovation more than a buzzword and ensure it drives business growth and real value to customers. To do this, technology is not enough. People need impactful experiences that are in sync with culture, tap into emotions and use creativity and storytelling to become memorable and meaningful. NEXT aims to create more and more moments when customers can fall in love with brands, unlocking brand love, loyalty and of course business growth.”

NEXT’s survey, conducted in collaboration with Hall & Partners in March 2022 across markets in the UAE and Saudi Arabia, clearly demonstrates a readiness, from consumers and brands alike, to embrace more innovative and personalized experiences: While 57% of consumers believe that too many brands offer a bad experience, 93% say that they enjoy when a brand is creative in what it offers. In the UAE, nationals care even more about brand experience. In fact, 90% of Emiratis say they are more likely to use a brand if it offers services and products that are personalized to their needs. The context doesn’t differ at all in Saudi Arabia, where 93% of Saudis stated the same.

Now is the time to lead from this region in developing the next generation of brand experiences by merging culture with a strategic way of looking at technological change.

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