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The Time Obsessed Consumer: Study Reveals Impact on Brands Now that Time is the New Currency


Marketers need to think beyond if their brand is worth spending a certain amount of money and ask if their brand is worth spending precious time.

A new study by advertising agency, Allen & Gerritsen, takes a look at consumers’ relationship with time, which is more fleeting than ever, especially in light of technology designed to make lives easier.

Fifty seven percent of consumers surveyed indicated that they rarely have time to relax.

42% feel that having a smartphone has taken time away from them and yet, 42% feel anxious when they leave their smartphone at home, while 28% feel irritated. When asked “Is time or money more important to you?” the majority answered time (64%) but when asked “What do you wish you had more of, time or money?” the majority answered money (58%).

“We used to say time is money. These days, time may be far more valuable. But it’s complicated,” said Brian Babineau, Chief Strategy and Engagement Officer, Allen & Gerritsen. “Marketers need to think beyond if brand is worth spending a certain amount of money and ask if their brand is worth spending precious time.”

According to the study, which utilized primary and secondary research, the time obsessed consumer is becoming more savvy with their time, but as consumers hone their time filtering skills, their attention span gets smaller and smaller. As our beloved screens were designed to save time, they are also optimized to waste it, employing psychological levers to keep us busy doing a whole lot of nothing.

In turn, consumers are adapting to unconsciously prioritize moments most meaningful to them asking the questions “Is this the best use of my time?”, “What am I missing out on by doing this right now?” and “How is this activity positively contributing to my goals?”

“We all have to adjust to a market where the second is soaring,” said Babineau. “Time is in high demand, but there is never enough. As Time is the New Currency, it’s time we think more critically about the time we spend creating content and experiences that waste our customers’ time.”

Allen & Gerritsen’s first study in a series examining how we spend our time can be downloaded here.

Rebecca Sullivan