WE study: Brands must get more practical in facing societal problems

WE’s latest Brands in Motion research reveals that consumers are still skeptical about companies' purpose commitments, and they want action on issues such as the cost of living.

Consumers want to see faster results from corporate purpose efforts. (Photo credit: Getty Images).

BELLEVUE, WA: Companies need to demonstrate more practicality in the issues they tackle, according to WE Communications’ latest Brands in Motion global report. 

The study, titled The Bravery Mandate: Make It Real, found that 70% of respondents prefer that brands focus multi-year investments on a single cause, as opposed to supporting a different issue every year. 

WE’s research also found consumers want companies to place greater emphasis on practical, pressing goals rather than ambitious ones, with cost of living voted the primary issue where brands need to step up their efforts. 

“Unprecedented events have really become the norm,” said Hannah Peters, EVP of corporate reputation and brand purpose at WE. “People are less tolerant hearing about 2030 or 2050 commitments, they want that progress and impact to be real, meaningful and [more] immediate.”

Brands in Motion also revealed that many people are skeptical about companies’ purpose claims, largely due to a lack of data, with 74% of surveyed individuals wanting more public transparency about actions in response to current and emerging societal issues.

However, it is also important for brands to find the balance between data and human impact, communicating how their work is providing tangible help to society.

The 2022 Brands in Motion report, in partnership with YouGov, surveyed 11,485 consumers and B2B decision-makers in Australia, Germany, India, Singapore, South Africa, the U.K. and the U.S.

WE posted a 16% increase in revenue to $172.6 million globally last year, with revenue up 10% to $124 million in the U.S., according to PRWeek’s Agency Business Report 2022.

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