Quality is the core value that the largest share of consumers around the world feel is important for brands to embody, according to results from a recent Havas Worldwide study. Reliability/durability and honesty/transparency follow in close succession, with separate results indicating that most consumers feel that it is important for a company to be transparent.
Indeed, almost 9 in 10 “prosumers” surveyed feel that it is very or somewhat important for a company to be transparent, a sentiment shared by close to 8 in 10 mainstream consumers. (“Prosumers” are considered to be “leading influencers and market drivers” who “influence the brand choices and consumption behaviors of others.” They comprise 20% of the 10,131 respondents surveyed across 28 markets.)
Of note, Millennials (18-34) were the least likely to feel that a company’s transparency is important, although roughly three-quarters feel that way. That figure rises to 86% of Boomers (55+). That’s an interesting result in light of other research suggesting that honesty and authenticity are particularly important brand attributes for younger consumers.
Similarly, while corporate social responsibility has been found in other research to have more of an influence on Millennials’ purchase decision than older generations, the Havas study finds general agreement across age groups with respect to the emphasis put on companies’ social impact. For example, Millennials (57%), Gen Xers (60%) and Boomers (59%) showed a similar propensity to be paying more attention than in the past to the environmental and/or social impact of the products they buy. Likewise, a similar percentage of each group (ranging from 51%-55%) agree that they make it a point these days to know more about the companies that make the products and services they use.
Other results suggest that Boomers feel even more strongly than their younger counterparts about companies’ social responsibilities. They are more likely than Millennials (81% vs. 70%) to agree that companies have a responsibility to do more than just generate profit, and also more likely to agree (83% vs. 70%) that companies have an ethical obligation to operate in a way that does not harm the environment.
Overall, respondents to the survey agree that businesses should contribute to social good, with around two-thirds feeling that businesses bear as much responsibility as governments for driving positive change, and more than 7 in 10 agreeing that it’s important for a company to drive social change. Moreover, a majority would like their favorite brands/companies to play a bigger role in their local community. That brings to mind results from Edelman’s recently-released Trust Barometer, in which 80% (up from 74% last year) of general population consumers worldwide agreed that a company can take specific actions that both increase profits and improve the economic and social conditions in the community where it operates.
There appears to be a business incentive for companies to work towards a positive future: close to two-thirds of consumers surveyed by Havas Worldwide report being more likely to buy from a company that is doing good things for the world. This sentiment is particularly strong among prosumers, 8 in 10 of whom agree that their purchase likelihood is greater for such companies.
About the Data: For its “Project Superbrand” report, Havas Worldwide partnered with Market Probe International to survey 10,131 people ages 18+ in 28 markets: Australia; Belgium; Brazil; Canada; China; Colombia; the Czech Republic; Estonia; France; Germany; India; Ireland; Italy; Japan; Latvia; Lithuania; Malaysia; Mexico; the Netherlands; Poland; Portugal; Saudi Arabia; Singapore; South Africa; Spain; the United Arab Emirates; the United Kingdom; and the United States.