The last three years have been turbulent and disconcerting. The rise in populism across the world along with some severe backward steps on social and environmental issues have left the public with little to feel positive about. So it’s not surprising that over 50% of people say they care more about brands acting with purpose now, than they did last year.
This is according to research we’ve recently conducted exploring consumer attitudes towards brand purpose and behaviour.
One of the most interesting findings was that, not only do people care more, but expectations of brands seem to be mounting. An overwhelming 80% think big businesses have a responsibility to use their size and wealth to do good. And when we probed this question more, we learnt that this wasn’t just about giving to charity or acting responsibly, it was about affecting change and advocating for consumers. In numbers, what we established was that nearly three quarters of people would welcome brands using their power to influence government and policy for good.
While this might be intimidating for some brands, a little further back on the purpose journey – who maybe haven’t even got their own house in order yet – it’s an interesting indicator that doing nothing isn’t going to win over the hearts and minds of todays consumer.
We believe that if 2018 was the year that purpose helped brands like Iceland gain stand-out, 2019 will be the year that it becomes a business and communications imperative.