FEATURE18 August 2022

A glass half empty? Optimism in business

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Features Financials Impact Wellbeing

Optimism is a valuable tool for most businesses, but if the feel-good factor declines, what is the financial impact of that for brands? Liam Kay finds out.

a half full glass on milk on a white background

It is a hard time to be an optimist. We are emerging from a worldwide pandemic; facing a cost-of-living crisis driven by spiralling fuel and energy prices and higher inflation rates; the effects of human activity on the environment are increasingly becoming obvious; and war has broken out in Ukraine, leading to a knock-on effect on food and supply chains. The future is not looking so rosy.

With a few notable exceptions, businesses generally trade on optimism and goodwill in their advertising, products and brand image, whether that be a new car, house, investment tools, or simply food and drink. But is the current political and economic climate affecting that formula – and is the loss of optimism part of a longer-term trend, or an unsustainable blip?

Much of the current loss of optimism is reflected in consumer confidence figures. GfK’s Consumer Confidence Index fell to its lowest levels since its records began, in 1974, in its May edition, reaching a score of -40, one ...