Consumers are increasingly shunning brands they think have the “wrong values”, new research reveals.
According to Real World Insight, two in five consumers say that they have either stopped using or never use a brand if they do not agree with their values or behaviour.
The study, which set out to highlight the growing influence of the ‘ethical pound’, also revealed that four out of five consumers want large corporations to minimise their environmental impact, while two thirds believe big companies have a responsibility to give back to society.
Meanwhile, almost half of the 2,000 respondents said they were willing to pay more for a brand that supported a cause that was important to them.
However, as a nation it seems we are becoming more and more socially-conscious as this figure rises to 60% in 18-24 year-olds. Similarly, while 35% of all respondents have bought a brand product specifically because of its chosen values or beliefs, this rises to 49% in those aged 18 to 24.
The findings come after a report by Fashion Revolution revealed that global lingerie brands are not disclosing enough information about their impact on the lives of workers in their supply chains and on the environment.
The UK-based not-for-profit organisation’s second annual Fashion Transparency Index ranks 100 of the biggest fashion and apparel brands and retailers according to how much information they disclose about their suppliers, supply chain policies and practices, as well as social and environmental impacts.
Marks & Spencer ranked highly with 120 points out of a possible 250, but underwear brands Victoria’s Secret and Under Armour both scored just 27.5 points, and Calzedonia and Triumph were among the worst performers, scoring 22.5 points each.
The study by Real World Insight found widespread cynicism about large companies, with two thirds of consumers revealing they felt brands overstated their environmental credentials, and almost half were sceptical of corporate claims to support good causes.
Real World Insight managing director, Pauline Robson, commented: “The role and responsibilities of brands in society is a complex thing. Even those which do have good values or behaviours at their heart face a challenge in convincing the public that they are genuine and can be trusted.
“But the fact remains that a brand’s purpose is hugely influential in attracting an audience and, ultimately, a customer base.”