Only half of consumers can identify a single charitable brand

Evian and Adidas have reduced the volume of plastics they use

A sharp drop in the number of consumers are able to identify a single brand which they associate with good causes has been observed in a new survey, with the proportion dropping from two-thirds last year to just half this year - highlighting a disconnect between good deeds and wider recognition.

Charitable causes have long offered an avenue for brands to both aid wider society and win over new consumers but that link could now be fraying with those who do dip into their pockets now struggling to get their message across despite the growing importance of brand ethics and behaviours.

The MediaCom report found that 60% of consumers are prepared to pay more for brands which make a positive contribution to society with 67% wishing to align themselves with environmentally-friendly products and 68% favouring products which ban animal testing.

Sue Unerman, MediaCom’s chief transformation officer said: “The findings around environmental issues are particularly interesting. It is a hot topic for consumers at the moment – something that we have started to refer to as the David Attenborough effect. People want companies to clean up their act, especially when it comes to the overuse of plastics and unnecessary packaging of products. Tapping into this is key to differentiating yourself from the competition. At the end of the day, people buy more from brands that align their purpose to the issues that they care about.

“More businesses than ever before are aligning themselves with a cause to convince consumers that they hold genuine values as a company. However, it is clear that communicating brand purpose is not hitting home in many cases.”

Attenborough's Blue Planet II plastics warning has convinced the likes of Evian and Adidas to reduce the volume of plastics consumed throughout their supply chains.

The survey drew its conclusions from 2,000 individual respondents.

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