As businesses become increasingly powerful with the ability to affect significant social and societal change, the expectations consumers have for brands to do exactly that has equally grown in magnitude. A report by Havas last year (from a sampling of 10,000 global consumers) concluded that 80% of Prosumers and 65% of the mainstream believe that it’s no longer acceptable for businesses to operate solely for profit. Further, “consumers don’t just want brands to do good; they want to be able to contribute to the effort—and feel good about themselves as a result.” Not only are consumers driving corporations toward using their considerable resources to innovating for good, they’re demanding it.
What’s really interesting though is while products and brands came to represent rampant and mindless consumerism, which led to considerable backlash and declining sales (and for some still does; McDonald’s?) the payoff for brands engaging in trust and authentic relationships with customers has become major loyalty, with beloved brands becoming a welcome focal point and something upon which we can rely in an era of increasing turbulence and change.