A new report from Havas Media titled, “Meaningful Brands For A Sustainable Future,” is one of the most insightful reports in revealing the punitive aspect of the social business marketplace, which is often overlooked! It specifically examines the expanding awareness and capacity of consumers to punish brands that lack social responsibility.
Three key facts stand out in the report as warnings that all marketers need to be aware of!
1. Just 28% of consumers worldwide feel that businesses today are effectively working to solve the social and environmental challenges people care about.
There are two things to consider regarding this fact. First of all, this statistic proves that a very small percentage of consumers think companies are working efficiently to address social crises. Secondly, the phrase, “challenges people care about,” should be taken into consideration. A hallmark of social marketing is that it’s a real-time conversation between brands and consumers. If businesses want to get loyalty from consumers, they must perform and communicate in a meaningful way to be apart of their consumers’ lives. Ignoring social and environmental challenges that consumers care about means companies could become irrelevant and/or experience consumer backlash for their lack of social responsibility.
2. 64% of consumers feel most businesses merely “act” responsible to improve their image.
Consumers consistently demand that brands use social media platforms to promote their products and services in an authentic manner. It’s a major issue if over half of all consumers think brands are not genuinely addressing issues that are important to consumers. Our current marketplace gives consumers the ability to gather information and share it through social media. So, with more companies seeking to connect to customers, there’s competition in this marketplace to win the loyalty of consumers. But since consumers have so many options, if they feel a company is insincere in their social efforts, that brand will immediately lose that customer’s loyalty.
3. If 70% of brands disappeared in the future, most people would not care.
This fact highlights a deep consumer distrust of brands in the marketplace. Just because a brand has strong leadership as a company does not guarantee its security in the market. Technology is quickly changing how business is conducted across all industries and now consumers are pushed more than ever before to find and embrace the tech-savvy AND socially responsible brands.
The Havas Media report concluded that brands that improve our personal and collective world systematically will be rewarded with greater consumer attachment and brand equity. The bottom line is brands MUST be meaningful to their customers’ lives!