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Accenture highlights growth of 'purpose-led brands'

Dec 17
Tags: Accenture
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Accenture highlights growth of 'purpose-led...

Companies that "stand for something bigger than what they sell" are more likely to attract customers, influence purchasing decisions and gain an edge over competitors, according to Accenture.

In its 14th annual Global Consumer Pulse study, the professional services firm highlighted a trend of UK customers buying from brands that take a stand on issues they care about.

Committing to principles

Accenture surveyed more than 2,000 people in the UK and found that over half (53 per cent) of respondents preferred to buy goods and services from companies that demonstrated a shared purpose reflecting their own personal values and beliefs.

Nearly two-thirds (64 per cent) of people aged between 18 and 29 said they wanted companies to take a stand on the social, cultural, environmental and political matters that are important to them.

An even larger proportion (74 per cent) said the words, values and actions of company leaders influenced their purchasing decisions, underlining how transparency and accountability are more important than ever in the current era.

Other findings showed that two-thirds (66 per cent) of 55 to 74-year-olds are attracted to organisations that are committed to reducing their use of plastics, compared to 60 per cent of the 18 to 29 age group.

More than half (55 per cent) of all consumers said a brand's ethical values and authenticity played a part in influencing their purchasing decisions. Two-thirds were looking for more transparency in how businesses source products, ensure safe working conditions and take a stance on issues such as animal testing.

Accenture Strategy managing director Rachel Barton said: "UK consumers are investing their time, money and attention in brands that have a genuine commitment to important principles that they care about – such as health and wellbeing, natural ingredients, environmental sustainability and family connections.

"These principles guide every business decision. Be warned – people can see through inauthenticity and won't tolerate it."

Consumer power

The research also provided insights into how consumers today have more power than ever to influence brand perceptions and company conduct, partly thanks to the range of platforms available for people to express their opinions.

More than half (55 per cent) of the survey respondents said protest actions such as making their views known on social media or actively boycotting particular brands can change how companies behave.

Nearly four out of ten people (37 per cent) had stopped doing business with a particular organisation in the past because of its actions.

Ms Barton noted that consumers "have the power to bring about success or failure to companies".

"They are more than buyers – they are active stakeholders and want to feel a sense of shared purpose," she added. "These findings should be a powerful wake-up call for all brands to become purpose-led organisations."

Accenture highlighted some key steps that can help brands become 'purpose-led', such as developing a clear idea of what they stand for and placing a big emphasis on clarity and authenticity.

The firm also highlighted the benefits of engaging with consumers on a deeper level, which could entail getting people involved in product innovation and co-developing new services.

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Image: oaltindag/iStock

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