The relationship between corporate brands and customers has changed dramatically over the past decade. Today’s audiences are no longer just passive consumers. They want to be part of the conversation — and are increasingly vocal in their expectation that businesses take a stand on social issues. They want to buy from, and work for, companies and brands that support the values they believe in.
Our Authenticity Gap research dramatically brings this new reality into focus, revealing that nearly 70% of consumers want organizations to demonstrate greater positive societal and environmental impact than their competitors, not just customer benefits, when launching a new product or service.
More startling, consumers say less than half of their perceptions about a company are shaped by attributes related to a company’s products and services. The other half is shaped by how management behaves and how the company is having an impact on society.
Clearly an organization’s impact on society and the environment will play a critical role in winning the hearts and minds of consumers in this new reality. More importantly, it’s also a source of significant competitive advantage.
Organizations need to do more than build a great product or service. They need to stand for something and mean it. And those that don’t prioritize their purpose and values based on what consumers really cares about, will find their once-loyal customers going to a competitor who does.
Paul Vosloo specializes in internal communications and employee change management, helping employees understand and support business strategies and transformations, including rebranding and repositioning, culture change and mergers and acquisitions. He is Senior Vice President & Senior Partner in FlieishmanHillard’s New York office. You can reach him here.