There is more need than ever for businesses to define who they are what they stand for. Purpose-led brands are able to build stronger relationships with consumers in the long term, which can result in higher revenue and increased sales. A massive 74% of consumers in the UK want to understand a brand’s values before investing in their products or services, according to a new Feefo report.
The Impact of COVID-19 on Buying Decisions
The Coronavirus pandemic has played a crucial role in how consumers choose which businesses to invest in and how they make their buying decisions. Keith Povey, Marketing Director of Feefo, says “With the continued shift online over the last 12 months, consumers have more choice than ever before, so it’s imperative brands focus on providing seamless digital experiences.” Now that nearly all adults (99%) are internet users, businesses have been forced to make it easier for consumers to buy online. This has resulted in consumers having more choice than ever and setting your business apart from the competition is imperative.
Being transparent and open about your brand values and shifting your focus to address social and political issues can encourage consumers to choose your business over others. 61% of consumers will spend more money with businesses that are socially responsible compared to those that are not. Not only that, but 74% said they are less likely to purchase from a brand if they are disappointed by their actions on social and political issues. Founder of Amplify, Jonathon Emmis says “We’re yet to see whether it’s a temporary or more permanent change, but facing the global challenge of the pandemic, consumers are more empathetic, aware of their impact on the world and open to change.”
Vic Heyward, Brand Marketing and Communications Manager at Bright, adds. “Understanding what your brand truly stands for should be the motivation behind your core purpose, and brand values should authentically echo this. What’s the point in having a set of values you never live, or worse, never look at again?
“This newer focus on brand accountability for sustainable initiatives can feel daunting for some, especially if you’re not at the forefront of an environmental revolution. For brands like this, taking a step back to reflect on your brand purpose, code of ethics or CSR policy can be an enlightening experience and a way to further engage prospects and employees.”
Influencers Are Not So Influential
In the last five years, influencer marketing has boomed in popularity, and is forecasted to grow by $22.3 billion by 2024. However, Feefo’s recent report has revealed that 61% of UK consumers say influencers and celebrities being associated with a brand has no impact on their perception of that brand. Just 12% of consumers will have a positive association with a brand if they like the celebrity or influencer that is promoting it. This shows that influencer marketing might not be as influential as first thought, but it is still a key strategy for building brand awareness.
With brand values being an important factor in consumer buying decisions, influencers used for promotion need to match and carry these values as well. This can help give a business authenticity and communicate their values to consumers through other channels. With such an increased focus on social and political issues, brands must consider their values and ethics in everything they do or be at risk of being left behind the competition.
Povey continues: “The report clearly highlights the need, and opportunity, for brands to invest more in defining who they are, what they believe in and how they operate. Effectively communicating this demonstrates how, by giving business to the brand, the customers will be supporting a transparent, trustworthy and socially responsible business. In other words, it is imperative to invest in creating a brand with a purpose.”