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30 March 2022
Lessons in ‘wokeness’ from health & beauty consumers
Brand activismAttitudes to advertisingCosmetics, beauty aids
Consumers are OK with health & beauty brands taking a stance on key social and societal challenges, but they’d much rather they just pay their taxes, treat people fairly and respect the environment.
That’s according to a survey of 2,000 UK consumers commissioned by The Pull Agency, which found that two-thirds (68%) of consumers are uneasy or unsure about health & beauty brands teaching and promoting ‘woke’ causes.
Why it matters
A rush to be seen as doing the right thing, often while promoting a nebulous concept of brand purpose (which most consumers don’t get), has resulted in people becoming increasingly cynical about the claims being made by brands. Without an obvious link to a cause, trying to be more than an ethical business can carry unnecessary risks for a brand.
Nearly half of UK consumers (41%) agree that the amount of ‘green-washing’ and ‘woke-washing’ in the health & beauty sector is becoming noticeable.
One in four consumers think ‘woke-washing’ brands are inauthentic, while one in seven (14%) deliberately avoid the brands they see as behaving this way.
Only 22% of UK consumers are familiar with the term ‘brand purpose’, while 37% think they’ve heard of it, but admit they don’t really know what it involves.
58% of people want health & beauty brands to be a good, ethical corporate citizen first.
“Several healthcare and beauty brands have got in trouble for perceived woke-washing and superficial attempts at brand activism. People are getting much smarter at identifying what’s real and what’s not and [are] clearly irritated by inauthentic looking claims” – Kathrin Rodriguez-Bruessau, head of brand strategy at The Pull Agency.