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While there has been ample talk about culture in the context of hiring talent, buyers are also attracted to companies that care. This is according to a new survey of 30,000 consumers conducted by Accenture Strategy [download page] that examines attitudes across 35 countries.

When asked what attracts buyers to buy from certain brands (excluding factors of price and quality), 66% responded: “The company has a great culture — it does what it says it will do and delivers on its promise.” The same percentage of respondents also stated they were attracted to a company that “is transparent — with where it sources its materials, how it treats its employees fairly, etc.”

Failing to meet these standards can result in consumers speaking out (53% claim to complain if they feel disappointed with a brand’s words or actions) or leaving the brand in question (47%). This importance placed on honesty and transparency backs up previous findings on brand values from large-scale consumer research.

But even if the majority feel an appeal towards companies with these qualities, the political stance of a company is less important – even if it aligns with their own political views. Only 37% of those surveyed felt their buying was influenced by a brand that “takes a political stance on issues close to my heart.”

Consumers Want Companies That Stand for Something

Companies that are purpose-driven — those that show a commitment to making a global impact as well as making money — have a great deal of support from modern consumers, according to previous research. Roughly nine in ten American consumers report that they would purchase from a purpose-driven company.

This more recent study by Accenture shows similar results, with 62% of consumers reporting that “they want companies to stand up for the issues they are passionate about.” The report further suggests that companies should involve employees, customers and stakeholders to determine where a company can make a difference and then communicate this purpose. More than 6 in 10 (64%) consumers felt brands were more attractive when they communicate their purpose.

Maintaining Customer Trust is Key

Being purpose-driving in the eyes of consumers is beneficial to a company. Conversely, a lack of trust can be detrimental. The Edelman Trust Barometer reports that less than half (48%) of the US public trust businesses. Accenture’s research shows that this sort of mistrust can lead to approximately $180 billion in lost revenue.

As such, marketers should consider the methods through which consumers typically learn about business efforts to promote social responsibility. A study by G&S Business Communications found that the most popular source, used by almost half (49%) of those studied, was news media – far ahead of 18% that refer to the often glossy social responsibility reports.

To read more about this survey, you can download it here.

About the data: The results are based on an online survey of 29,530 consumers in 35 countries, conducted between August 1 and October 16, 2018.

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