NEWS19 May 2021

Google and Microsoft top ‘conscious brands’ list

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UK – Google is the UK’s most ‘conscious’ brand while Microsoft is the most ethical brand worldwide, according to the inaugural Wolff Olins and Hall & Partners Conscious Brands 100.

Ethics dictionary reference

AstraZeneca comes in second on the UK list, followed by Microsoft, the BBC and YouTube, while Headspace, YouTube and Pfizer all performed well globally.

The Conscious Brands 100 ranks 223 companies – 110 of which were global with the rest specific to either the UK, US or China – based on their attitude to ethical, sustainability and moral issues and response to people’s identities, moods and cultures.

Companies are ranked on 14 metrics related to six key criteria: empathy, reform, habit, multisensory, collectivism and morality.

A global survey of 9,000 consumers was used to give each brand a score out of 11 for each metric, with comparisons then made with the average brand performance.

Categories that performed best were tech and entertainment, while airlines and travel, mobility, fashion, luxury, alcohol and finance all faired badly in the study.

Twitter and Facebook both performed poorly in the index, particularly on moral performance.

Vanella Jackson, global chief executive officer at Hall & Partners, said: “There is a growing need and opportunity for brands to show leadership and bring consciousness into their brand and marketing strategies.

“The ongoing challenge for brands is to connect to their unique role and contribution as a business, clearly linking to their DNA. And doing this consistently and authentically. Anything else risks tokenism.”

Sairah Ashman, global chief executive officer at Wolff Olins, said: “Unsurprisingly, it’s the brands that helped us to stay connected and healthy or keep boredom at bay that we’ve come to rely on and value the most.

“It will certainly be interesting to see if the big pharmaceutical brands can sustain the Covid-19 bump they’re currently experiencing.”