Finger on the pulse: Brands take center stage in cultural divides

NEW YORK — Trust is down, expectations are up and, like never before, the world’s consumers are turning to brands to address the social and environmental challenges that affect their aspirations for a better life in divided times.

According to a new global study by BBMG and GlobeScan, net trust in global companies to act in the best interests of society is negative (-2). For the first time since 2009, more consumers said they have punished companies for their behavior (28%), rather than rewarded them (26%), and the number of those who are punishing brands is up by 9 percentage points since 2013.

“While trust in companies has never been lower, expectations for the role of brands in society have never been higher. Consumers are yearning for brands that stand for more than the products they sell. They want brands that meet their own needs, while also creating meaningful solutions that have a positive effect on society,” said Raphael Bemporad, founding partner at brand consultancy BBMG. “At a moment of tremendous social and cultural change, consumers are looking to brands for leadership and action.”

The report also outlines four strategies for brand leadership with case studies and best practices from brands such as Heineken, Plum Organics, Ikea, Danone, Kind, Airbnb, Starbucks, Apple, Ben & Jerry’s and Rei.

Click here for the full report.


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