Nearly three-quarters of consumers consider it important to know what a brand’s values are before making a purchase, according to a new report by customer review platform Feefo.
The survey, which spoke to 2,000 UK shoppers, found that many are taking a brand’s political and social beliefs into consideration before doing business with them.
Feefo’s latest research, which focused on the shopping habits of Britons, found that the way a company behaves is becoming more important to consumers. Many are even willing to walk away from a purchase if they don’t like what they see.
The Brand Perception Report revealed that 61% of respondents would be more willing to spend money with brands that are socially responsible. Plus, they’re not afraid to stand up for what they believe in. As many as 74% of shoppers in the UK would also be less likely to buy something from a brand if they were disappointed by the company’s actions or words on political or social issues.
More than half (57%) of the people that Feefo spoke to said companies should be socially and environmentally responsible, while just under half said they would give brands another chance — if they made themselves accountable.
This is just the latest study in 2021 exploring how shopping habits in the UK have changed during the pandemic. A similar report from J.P Morgan Research revealed that online shopping had grown in popularity with more companies reducing their product range and focusing on what matters more.
Feefo’s Marketing Director, Keith Povey, said: “It’s been an incredibly volatile 12 months for businesses, which has seen a seismic shift in consumer behaviour, some aspects of which will have a long-lasting effect on how buyers think, act and spend. That said, our research shows that for those businesses that are agile and realign their marketing strategies, there are many opportunities to improve brand awareness, perception and loyalty. Those that respond and act with the medium to long term in mind will see greater returns over the next few years than those that see this period as nothing more than a dip, due to external circumstances.”
With consumer preferences changing in the wake of the pandemic, companies need to focus on creating meaningful relationships with their customers. To do this, they need to show their customers a level of trust — establishing strong values and ideals.
John Galpin, Co-Founder of Design by Structure commented: “Customer perception is based on the customers’ own experiences of a brand, how it aligns with their own beliefs and values, their interaction with it at every touchpoint, from the awareness, through to purchase-decision to having it in their home. Brands don’t hold the reins completely. Consumers hold power in their ability to vote with their feet. If they don’t like what a brand does…they simply won’t purchase, or more importantly repeat purchase — that’s real power.”
Figures from The Smart Shopper study back up the findings from Feefo. Smart Shopper data revealed that shoppers in the UK value a company’s stance on sustainability or social issues. In fact, 62% said they wanted to see a brand have at least one measure of sustainability — like biodegradable packaging or fair working conditions.
Consumer preferences and shopping habits are likely to continue changing, but one thing is clear, more and more people want their brands to have a wider positive impact in the world and, above all, behave in a conscious and fair way that truly makes a difference.