NEWS14 November 2019

Brands should lead on climate and social issues

News Trends UK

UK – Almost three quarters ( 73%) of UK consumers expect brands to play a role in protecting the planet, according to research from Mindshare.


Its new report Power to the People it found that people are looking to businesses behind the products and services that they use to play an active role in shaping society for the better and tackle the climate crisis

The research suggests that the move toward genuine brand purpose is what people are looking for with 70% of respondents saying that brands can’t get away with saying one thing and doing another. Sixty-six per cent said they’d like to see more brands join forces to tackle social issues.

More than a third of people said they had recently stopped buying from some brands and companies because they didn't agree with their values. This figure rose to 42% of 18- to 34-year olds. In comparison, 40% disagreed with the idea that if the price of a product is right, it doesn't really matter how the company behaves behind the scenes.

The study also found a large credibility gap opening between people and organisations which we are supposed to trust. The study calculated a Net Credibility Score by subtracting negative sentiment from positive and found the only sources of information we see as credible are people we know or accredited experts on a particular topic.

The only group of organisations to register a positive credibility score were charities although this was very low. Of the organisations respondents were asked to consider the BBC scored net credibility of -2% followed by Google -7% and Amazon -12%. 

Articles in newspapers and magazines scored surprisingly badly with -18%, as did my local MP (-18%), but these still came in well ahead of sources such as advertising (-42%), social media (-50%), political leaders (-53%) and lowest of all – social media influencers that I follow (-54%).

Sixty per cent of UK adults think social media influencers they follow are not credible at all.

Julia Ayling, head of research and insights at Mindshare said: “The findings of our research indicate that there is a huge opportunity for businesses and brands to play a wider role in society, but their contribution must be credible and add value in a genuine and sustainable way.

“This study points to a substantial redefinition of the way in which brands interact with audiences and are perceived by their consumers. It is the audience that is driving this change.”

Mindshare’s Power to the People research was run in October 2019 among a nationally representative sample of 1,000 UK adults. The quant study results were combined with qual mobile ethnography.