To say the world has shifted in the last two years would be an understatement, and so it is no surprise to many that consumer attitudes and appetites have changed. And this is having a huge effect on the UK’s major urban centers with the capital London being affected most by the pandemic. We give you three ways to understand a Brand Purpose.
Even before the coronavirus pandemic affected companies through their operations, businesses saw an uptake in corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives and interest across industries. Now, a new report from consumer review champions Feefo suggests that consumers, too, are interested to learn more about what companies hold dear.
Previous research by the Institute For Fiscal Studies recently showed that large cities have taken a huge financial hit due to reduced footfall and government travel restrictions. The changing habits of shoppers over the course of the pandemic means industries like hospitality and leisure have been particularly affected and consumers are shifting more towards online shopping.
Now the latest report from Feefo, which surveyed over 2,000 UK online shoppers, has found that the events of the Covid-19 pandemic have also transformed the motivations behind purchases. As those in society have been forced to reflect on what’s ‘really’ important to them, consumer decision-making has shifted, with more people now basing their choices on factors including emotions, values, and beliefs.
So, what are consumers looking for in their favorite brands?
1. Shoppers looking for ‘Social Responsibility’
While cost and convenience are still utmost in the minds of most shoppers, other elements are now being taken into consideration. More than half (57%) of those surveyed believed that all companies should be as socially and environmentally responsible as possible, and 74% said that they would consider a brand’s values before they purchased from them.
Perhaps one of the most surprising statistics from the report is around brand purpose and the reasoning for the company existing and operating at all.
As many as 61% agreed they would spend more money with socially responsible brands because they had more respect for them. What’s more, consumer trust is high in companies claiming ethical and sustainable behaviour — with only 4% of those surveyed saying they didn’t trust brands’ claims of social responsibility, values, and purpose. The data suggests that brands should take advantage of these trusts levels and continue to communicate their overarching message to consumers through effective online marketing in order to stand out from the crowd.
2. Purpose-led Marketing is Key
The survey’s statistics all appear to reach the same conclusion: purpose-led marketing is key for survival. As younger generations of consumers become more powerful in the market, and Gen Z — a particularly conscientious demographic — begin to purchase more, sales and stats will no longer cut the mustard. Customers want to feel as though they’re buying from a responsible, reputable company and becoming one need not be a million miles away for most.
Several industry experts agree.
Vic Heyward, Brand Marketing and Communications Manager at Bright, says the report’s results can be a catalyst for positive change: “This newer focus on brand accountability for sustainable initiatives can feel daunting for some, especially if you’re not at the forefront of an environmental revolution. For brands like this, taking a step back to reflect on your brand purpose, code of ethics or CSR policy can be an enlightening experience and a way to further engage prospects and employees.”
3. Shoppers prepared to punish Brands
Indeed, if businesses aren’t quick to move to a more purpose-led approach in their operations, the impact could be devastating.
Almost three-quarters (74%) of consumers said they would not purchase from a brand if they were disappointed with their social or political words or stance, and less than half (48%) agreed they would give a brand a second chance if caught up in a social or ethical scandal they felt uneasy about. In a world of increasing business online presence and socially responsible awareness, this will come as no surprise to those with an active social media presence and business website.
Keith Povey, Director of Marketing at Feefo, says of the research: “The Feefo Brand Perception Report 2021 clearly highlights the need, and opportunity, for brands to invest more in defining who they are, what they believe in, and how they operate. Effectively communicating this demonstrates how, by giving business to the brand, the customers will be supporting a transparent, trustworthy, and socially responsible business. In other words, it is imperative to invest in creating a brand with a purpose.”
The message is clear for all businesses out there: in the modern world, your brand’s message and purpose need to be communicated with customers. Transparency of business practices is important as consumers want to understand what they are purchasing and from where. Even if you’re starting a business as a teen you’ve got to bear this in mind and you can learn more about how to start a business in the UK or ways to set up an online business then you should do your homework first.