‘British consumers would not care if 94% of brands disappeared’

A poll of over 19,000 British consumers revealed that respondents wouldn’t care if 94% of brands disappeared altogether, according to Havas Media’s Meaningful Brands UK Report 2015.

This figure has risen from a rate of 93% in 2013, with the increasing apathy appearing to be driven by a lack of sustainable initiatives on offer from high profile brands.

An overwhelming 85% of respondents believe brands must play a bigger role in improving the quality of life and wellbeing of their customers and the wider community.

However, the reality is very different, with respondents believing that only 3% of brands are currently taking these measures. Only five brands – Google, Amazon, PayPal, Visa and Samsung – were listed as brands perceived to be  improving the quality of consumer’s day-to-day lives.

When it comes to brand expectations, 47% of respondents said an excellent product and service is most important, while 26% and 27% prioritised brands that champion collective wellbeing and personal wellbeing.

“Brands that make a commitment to personal wellbeing have a huge opportunity to increase loyalty and trust levels,” said Sharon Johnson, Havas Media Re:Purpose CEO.

“There is no single formula for being a meaningful retail brand, but we’ve found that retailers that contribute to people’s life priorities are more likely to be appreciated, recommended and attractive to a customer.”

Over recent years FMCG producers such as Unilever have talked up their sustainability commitments and the positive sales impact on brands such as Ben & Jerry’s.

According to the report shoppers are 50% more likely to remain loyal to meaningful retail brands and also willing to pay a 10% price premium – something which Havas suggests has benefitted the likes of Waitrose and John Lewis.

Retail remains the most meaningful sector to UK consumers while media, beverage and energy brands are among those that wouldn’t be missed if they disappeared.

The top scorers in the Meaningful Brands 2015 list outperform the stock market by 133%, with the gap widening since 2013 (120%), according to Jon Kershaw, head of strategy at Havas Media UK.

He concluded: “What’s particularly interesting is that few retailers in the UK are making sure that their business strategies are reflected in the lives of the individual customer.

“They need to contextualise what their decisions mean to each person and connect deeply with what matters most to people – their personal wellbeing, such as making them healthier, happier or adopting better habits.”

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