The report, produced from a survey of 2,000 people in the UK, sheds light on how consumers perceive the brands they buy from. It found that shoppers are paying much more attention to how companies behave and are more than willing to walk away if they don’t like what they see.
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The 2021 data shows that 74% would be less likely to purchase from a brand if they were disappointed by a company’s words or actions on a social or political issue, with 57% agreeing that companies should be socially and environmentally responsible.
Feefo’s Marketing Director, Keith Povey, says: “It’s been an incredibly volatile 12 months for businesses, which has seen a seismic shift in consumer behaviour, some aspects of which will have a long-lasting effect on how buyers think, act and spend. That said, our research shows that for those businesses that are agile and realign their marketing strategies, there are many opportunities to improve brand awareness, perception and loyalty. Those that respond and act with the medium to long term in mind will see greater returns over the next few years than those that see this period as nothing more than a dip, due to external circumstances.”
The report highlights some intriguing statistics which suggest consumers are increasingly sensitive to companies behaving unethically. While almost three-quarters (74%) said they would be less likely to purchase if disappointed by a company’s words or actions on social or political issues, less than half (48%) would give them another chance if they made themselves accountable. However, 26% said they would stop buying from them altogether.
Other highlights include:
- 78% believe brands that say they are socially responsible.
- 61% spend more money with socially responsible brands that they respect above others.
- 61% of the consumers we surveyed say that celebrities/influencers being associated with a brand has no effect on their perception of that brand.
- Only 12% say if they like the celebrity influencer, it creates a positive view for them.
- 47% believe that businesses should always respond to negative reviews.
Povey continues: “The report clearly highlights the need, and opportunity, for brands to invest more in defining who they are, what they believe in and how they operate. Effectively communicating this demonstrates how, by giving business to the brand, the customers will be supporting a transparent, trustworthy and socially responsible business. In other words, it is imperative to invest in creating a brand with a purpose.”
Beck Prior, from Bristol's Prior Shop, added: "We are finding customers want to purchase from brands that align with their personal values. They are interested in who made it and how it was made. There is an increasing desire to buy from skilled local craftspeople."