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23 September 2021
More consumers look to brands for stability
Brand purposeSustainabilityBrand activism
The number of global study respondents saying they expect brands to create stability in uncertain times has risen 30% since 2019 – with brands now viewed as important a pillar of society as educators and friend-and-family networks.
Why it matters
That’s the key finding from the latest Brands in Motion report, a worldwide study of how perceptions shift over time, conducted by WE Communications and YouGov. But The Bravery Mandate also highlights the tension between growing expectations of brands to provide stability in a fast-changing, fractured world and heightened skepticism about purpose-washing.
Address the divide
Half of respondents (52%) believe brand attempts to impact societal issues are anchored in trying to sell more products or services.
Two out of three say they are more likely to purchase or recommend products or services from brands that address societal issues that matter to them.
Two-thirds of survey respondents are open to brands speaking and acting on societal issues, one third are not.
Stakeholders want frequent communication, with 58% saying brands must act or communicate at least weekly on topics of importance to be a leading voice, supported by sustained action.
Seventy-two percent of consumers prefer that brands make multi-year investments in one issue rather than invest in a new cause every year.
Globally, almost 75% of respondents say brands should reassess communications in light of societal issues at least every six months, and half said at least every three months.
“A brand’s purpose platform must be consistent enough to ground it, flexible enough to evolve with the times, and clear enough to navigate the inevitable unknowns” – Melissa Waggener Zorkin, Global CEO, WE Communications.