LONDON — How consumers perceive a brand’s social or environmental impact may play a role in supporting their purchasing decision, according to a new survey commissioned by Unilever. The survey of 20,000 adults living in the United Kingdom, United States, India, Brazil and Turkey found that 33 percent of those surveyed said they are choosing to buy from brands they believe are doing social or environmental good.
|Keith Weed, CMO and chief communications officer for Unilever|
“This research confirms that sustainability isn’t a nice-to-have for businesses,” said Keith Weed, chief marketing and communications officer for Unilever. “In fact, it has become an imperative. To succeed globally, and especially in emerging economies across Asia, Africa and Latin America, brands should go beyond traditional focus areas like product performance and affordability. Instead, they must act quickly to prove their social and environmental credentials and show consumers they can be trusted with the future of the planet and communities, as well as their own bottom lines.”
The survey noted that 21 percent of respondents said they would actively choose brands if they made their sustainability credentials clearer on their packaging and in their marketing. Unilever also found purpose-led purchasing is greater among consumers in emerging economies than in developed markets. While 53 percent of shoppers in the United Kingdom and 78 percent in the United States said they feel better when they buy products that are sustainably produced, that number rises to 88 percent in India and 85 percent in both Brazil and Turkey.
The report’s authors theorized that consumers in emerging economies may have had greater exposure to the negative impacts of unsustainable business practices, such as water and energy shortages as well as poor air quality. The authors added that societal pressure from a person’s friends and family may be stronger and more favorable toward sustainable products in emerging economies than it currently is in the United States or United Kingdom.