Brands have been urged to use their social media platforms to showcase their ethos and principles.
According to Sue Unerman, Chief Transformation Officer at MediaCom UK, in the past, consumers largely accepted there might be a “trade-off” between value for money and having a clear set of values.
However, she said this is no longer the case today, as people now “expect and demand both.” Indeed, she stated that two-thirds expect brands to give back to society, while 80 per cent feel brands should minimise their environmental impact.
Ms Unerman said this means there is now a “clear correlation” between clarity of purpose and brand equity, with more and more people abandoning brands because they don’t like what they hear about them.
Figures from MediaCom show that four in ten people have stopped using certain brands because of their behaviour.
Not paying tax in the UK was found to be particularly likely to alienate customers, along with animal testing, not being sustainable, failing to source products responsibly and being irresponsible with marketing.
“You could in the past expect that just a fringe minority of customers would take purpose and meaning so seriously that they stopped buying the brand because another one did more for society, or that they’d heard or read something derogatory about it,” Ms Unerman commented.
“This means a coherent social media strategy, one that is always on, is a necessity.”
Ms Unerman went on to recommend that marketers work with corporate social responsibility teams and user experience teams to encourage “joined-up thinking” across an organisation.
She added that the need to “leverage all the best about the brand and to tell an authentic story through marketing is more urgent than ever.”