93% of CorpSumers Expect Brands to Take a Stand on Social and Policy Matters

 

LONDON 19 September 2018 Commissioned by MWWPR and conducted by Wakefield Research, a recent study unveiled today has identified that 24% of the UK population believe that a company’s values, actions, and corporate reputation are just as important as its product attributes and features.

Dubbed the CorpSumer, this growing and powerful segment are valued for their loyalty, but their value extends beyond their size and direct actions due to their influence on others.  They frequently encourage others to buy a product or switch to a new product based on their values.  This influence is even higher with Millennials and Gen Z presenting brands with a significant opportunity to build a consumer relationship with an audience as their purchasing power grows.

CorpSumers place high value on a company’s values and reputation, and all CorpSumers report that reputational factors including corporate citizenship (98%), employee well-being (97%), and opinions of leadership (94%) directly impact their purchasing decisions.

“CorpSumers are staunch advocates when they believe in a brand and vocal detractors when their trust is broken,” said Carreen Winters, MWWPR’s Chairman of Reputation and Chief Strategy Officer.  “But what makes the CorpSumer different from the general population is the fact that they act on their beliefs and encourage others to do the same.”

“Arguably most important for brands is the fact that CorpSumers aren’t only making decisions based on reputation but influencing others in their circle about everything from products and current events to cultural issues and politics,” added Rebecca Blinston-Jones, UK Managing Director at MWWPR.

CORPSUMERS ACTIVELY SUPPORT BRANDS THAT TAKE A STAND ON SOCIETAL ISSUES AND MATTERS OF PUBLIC POLICY, EVEN IF THEY DON’T AGREE WITH YOU

CorpSumers believe that companies operate in the public’s best interest (72%,) however there is a healthy sense of skepticism with more than 90% indicating that they also believe that companies use social or policy issues for their own gain.  That said, 93% prefer that companies take a stand, and 84% prefer they do so even if they don’t agree with the brand’s position on an issue.

CorpSumers will reward companies that take a stand through their actions.

  • 90% would try a company’s products for the first time
  • 83% would switch from their current company to a new company
  • 83% would pay a premium for products from companies that take a stand
  • 73% would share the company’s information on social media
  • CorpSumers are also likely to apply for a job with (61%) or choose to invest in (56%) companies that they perceive as taking a stand.

“The rise in CEO activism globally along with increasing advocacy on societal issues by consumers creates an opportunity for brands to earn consumer trust, loyalty and advocacy by taking a public stance on important policy and societal matters,” added Winters.  “While CorpSumers overwhelmingly report that they don’t have to agree with your stance, they do have suspicions about company motives and seek authenticity when brands take a stand. CorpSumers have provided clear prescription about what matters to them and motivates them to act.”

CorpSumer Influence and Advocacy  

The UK CorpSumer represents a section of the UK population that are more likely than the average consumer to be well-educated, high-income earners in their age group, full-time employees, parents and a member of either the Gen-Z or Millennial generations. This segment also rivals other highly desirable marketing segments including Millennials (24%) and parents (31%) in size and influence.

CorpSumers pride themselves on their influence over others and use social media as their most trusted source to gather information about companies.  CorpSumers are equally likely to use their influence to support you as to object.  Three quarters of CorpSumers report sharing positive company news on their social media (76%) while an identical group (74%) shares negative news.  In addition, 71% have encouraged other to buy from a brand they believe in, and 73% have actively encouraged others to abandon a brand that they don’t believe in.

CorpSumer Loyalty

CorpSumers are valued for their loyalty – 52% report sticking with a product that disappoints them because they believe in what the company stands for; and 54% have switched to a new product to support the company overall.  But their value extends beyond their own direct actions based on their ability to influence others.  They’ve encouraged others to buy products (71%) or give up products (73%) based on their values.  This influence is even higher with Millennials and Gen Z, where approximately ¾ of younger CorpSumers have encouraged others to buy a product (74% of Millennials, 77% of Gen Z), and more than 80% of younger CorpSumers have encouraged others to give up a product.

“This segment’s loyalty can result in a high lifetime value as they are twice as likely to stick with or switch brands than the average consumer. It is therefore very important for brands to think beyond their product and build a narrative that will appeal to this segment of the population to not only engage them but build brand advocacy,” continued Rebecca Blinston-Jones.

To learn more about MWWPR’s CorpSumer research and brand insights, please visit www.mwwuk.com/corpsumer.

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SURVEY METHODOLOGY
The MWWPR CorpSumer™ Research Study was conducted by Wakefield Research among 1,000 UK consumers ages 15+ between July 24th and August 7th, 2018, using an email invitation and an online survey. The margin of error for UK general population consumers ages 15+ is 3.1 percentage points at the 95% confidence level. For CorpSumers ages 15+, the margin of error is 6.3 percentage points in the UK at the 95% confidence level.

 

ABOUT MWWPR

Thirty-two-years young, MWWPR has gone from one employee in one room with one client to among the world’s leading independent, integrated PR agencies with eight offices across the US and the UK. Guided by data and powered by insights, intellect and human instincts, we uniquely deliver on a people-first, client-centric promise that leans heavily into a digitally-led, content-driven approach. Our mission is to get to the heart of the matter: igniting influence and impact to help organizations matter more to those who matter most. Our expertise spans Consumer Lifestyle Marketing, Corporate Communications and Reputation Management, Public Affairs, Crisis & Issues Management, Media, Technology, Fintech and Telecoms. Visit www.mww.com or follow us @MWWLondon to learn more.

 

ABOUT WAKEFIELD RESEARCH

Wakefield Research (www.wakefieldresearch.com) is a leading, independent provider of quantitative, qualitative, and hybrid market research. Wakefield Research supports the world’s most prominent brands and agencies, including 40 of the Fortune 100, in 70 countries.