Belief-driven buying: The impact of being socially responsible

Group of people around the world. Chalk drawing.

The importance of brand beliefs has become steadily more crucial to success in recent years. In 2017 a report revealed that 57% of consumers would choose to either support or boycott a brand based on its position on a social issue that is important to them.

With reports last year stating that ‘belief-driven buying’ has gone mainstream, with 60% of consumers wanting brands to make it easier for them to see their values and positions on important issues, Instant Offices gives a breakdown on how companies can be more responsible when it comes to key social issues.

Key research shows:

The 2018 Earned Brand Report, which covered market in the UK, USA, Brazil, China, France, Germany, India and Japan, reveals:

  • One in two people today are belief-driven buyers will choose, change or boycott brands based on their stance on specific social issues.

  • Almost two thirds of the US are belief-driven buyers.

  • 65% will decide not to support a brand that stays silent on a topic they believe it is obligated to address.

  • Japan saw the most significant year-on-year growth in belief-driven buying, with a 21% increase.

  • This was closely followed by the UK, with 20% year-on-year growth.

Key issues that matter the most

Pride-friendly

One of the most significant social issues globally is the way brands, and companies, address LGBTQ+ issues.

Research from Engagement Labs shows a boost to both the online and offline metrics for brands who are actively promoting support for the LGBTQ+ community; indicating how consumers are responding positively to companies that they view as being more progressive and embracing diversity.

Gender equality

A prominent issue, following the government legislation requiring UK companies and public sector organisations with 250 or more employees to publicly report on their gender pay gap.

Studies show that 40% of people believe that men are likely to be hired over women, while further research shows men are also 30% more likely to be promoted to a managerial position despite the average gender pay gap being 9.1%, earning almost a quarter more than women.

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Younger generations leading the way

By 2025, millennials (generation Y) will make up approximately 75% of the worldwide, occupying a growing number of leadership roles in the workplace. 74% of Gen Y also believe that their workplace is more innovative when the culture is more inclusive, and around half of all millennial jobseekers are prioritising a culture of diversity and inclusion when choosing prospective employers.

However, purchasing decisions based on personal values have increased across all age groups:

  • 18-34 – belief-driven buying increased from 60% to 69% year-on-year (9% growth)

  • 35-64 – growth went from 53% to 67% year-on-year (14% growth)

  • 65+ – age group had the highest increase showing an 18% growth (from 38% to 56%)

The advantages of embracing diversity

Diversity in the workplace is another of today’s most widespread social issues, and there is substantial research to support the benefits for companies that take steps to become more diverse. Both consumers and employees chose to support brands and companies based on their forward-thinking approach to diversity.

Further studies have also revealed: companies with a diversity score that is above average see, on average, a 45% increase in innovation, while those who are below average see a 26% increase in comparison.

How to create a more diverse company

Diversity and Equality in the workplace are just two crucial elements that make up a well-balanced workplace, that is both accepting and welcoming to all existing employees, as well as those looking to join the company. There are a few ways that companies can ensure a diverse and tolerant environment:

  • During interviewing stages: Ensure there is a diverse pool of candidates when interviewing for positions.
  • Around the office: Encourage conversations around diversity and continuously look for ways to address any lack of diversity within your company.
  • Day-to-day: Work towards creating a workplace culture where people from all backgrounds feel comfortable and safe.
  • Going forward: Look for ways to partner with other companies that are known for diverse leadership.

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