A new study has found that three-quarters of Australians want brands to get more involved with the issues they care about.
This is the insight from Purpose in Asia, a new report from Kantar revealing a disconnect between the causes that dominate global media and international brand campaigns, and issues that matter to consumers across the region.
“These figures reveal that for many, an authentic brand purpose is now an expectation as opposed to a bonus,” Kantar Australia’s head of brand, Gareth O’Neill, said.
“The causes closest to home for Australians are health and well-being and ending poverty, with affordable, clean energy also pressing concern.”
The study highlights the influence of social media in circulating information about causes. TV still dominates but one in three (32 per cent) Australians ‘like’ posts on social media around an issue they care about – however, they are the least swayed across the region by these sorts of campaigns.
“Aligning with the issues that matter to consumers makes business sense, with one in four (42 per cent) of Aussies questioned saying they are more likely to buy brands aligned with their views,” O’Neill said.
“Thirty-eight per cent would be happy to pay ‘a little more’ for brands with sustainability credentials. However, this commitment is substantially lower than the 60 per cent average across all of Asia.”
“We’re still very skeptical down under though. Just a third of us feel brands authentically engage with issues. Compare that to India where 74 per cent perceived this as trustworthy brand activity.”
“But across the region, consumers believe brands have a key role to play in advancing the issues that matter to people – “brands just need to work a bit harder in authentically connecting with Australians.
“In terms of the role brands should play, educating consumers about an issue was the top activity cited, followed by initiating and funding programs to support the issue, and then funding organisations directly.”
Joy Lee, regional digital consultant for Kantar’s insights division, said brands have understood the power of purpose for a number of years now.
“The challenge, however, lies in identifying what resonates across the diverse landscape of Asia, and then engaging in an authentic way,” she said.
“Brands now have permission to get involved and make a difference. The good news is that this isn’t necessarily about making a lot of noise on the global stage.
“It can also be about supporting local initiatives and driving small but meaningful change where it matters most to people.”