What you need to know
Of Australians believe brands should use their power to make an impact for real world change on social and workplace inequality, according to new research conducted by Nine and cultural insights agency Fiftyfive5.
As conflict in Ukraine rages on, and culture wars dominate climate change and LGBTQIA+ rights, marketers are facing growing pressure from consumers for their brands to be seen as playing an activist role in a range of social issues.
The research, which explores the influence brands have as champions of change and whether taking a stand is as beneficial for profits as it is for society, shows that 63% of Australians believe brands can drive change on climate, and 54% respondents believe brands can be a force for good on job creation.
Out of all major institutions, Corporate Australia has the biggest potential to help solve societal problems.
It is Corporate Australia that Australians believe has the biggest potential to solve large scale societal and environmental problems.
Australians want to see leadership from the top, in place of what they believe is missing from politicians.
Australians are turning to brands to help instigate change
An overwhelming number of Australians demand that the internal policies of a business reflect the values presented in its brand marketing.
Set amongst a deeply decisive landscape, nearly all Australians are on the same page with their expectations of how corporate Australia can act, with 87% expecting brands to operate ethically, 81% expecting brands to be socially responsible, and 79% expecting brands to tackle workplace inequality.
Of Australians think brands have a role to play in social change
Would like to see brands engaging in activities that would increase awareness of a particular issue
Believe it is in social equality (gender equality, Indigenous rights, LGBTQIA+ Rights)
Think it is in climate change
Think it's getting involved in job creation
The issues that people feel are hitting closest to home are:
The soaring cost of living
It is why consumers are agitating for activism from the brands they touch.
Preparing for an activist future
Ensure your internal policies are in check
Address issues that align with your brand & consumer
Demonstrate how you are actively supporting change
Consumers want to see ongoing and long-term commitment
Be authentic in the way you create change
It's OK to be imperfect AND own past mistakes
“Brands that want to take a stand on a cause or campaign on an issue should follow six key steps,” said Boon. “Line up your internal policies with your external positions, identify the issues most relevant to your brand and consumers, back up your position with action, commit for the long term, be authentic, and own your past mistakes.
“Brand activism isn’t new, but the transparency must be there. There is a lot going on in the world at the moment, and providing they’re genuine, brands can transcend from being a product to something much more ethereal and meaningful that impacts on our world and our children’s future.”
Director of Strategy & Insights, Powered by Nine
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Source: Nine’s Proprietary Research | The Revolution Will Be Advertised. 2020 Australian Conscious Consumer Report