Financial Mail: Brands need zeitgeist of compassion



Brands need zeitgeist of compassion

A new survey finds that consumers increasingly expect their favourite brands to nail their colours to the mast over pressing social issues of the day and won’t hesitate to switch loyalty and shame brands perceived to be out of line

Jeremy Maggs, Financial Mail, September 26 2019 

Brands are seen to have an ever-greater responsibility to bring a degree of stability to what has become a sharply polarised world, and that sentiment is more prevalent in SA than in any other market.

That’s the top line from a new survey by WE Communications in its "Brands in Motion 2019" global study. Of the survey respondents, 83% (90% in SA) believe brands could play a greater role in providing stability and 74% (88% in SA) expect brands to take a stand on important issues.

WE general manager James Wilson tells the FM: "SA consumers have an extremely high expectation of brands." He says brands operate in a high-stakes environment of insatiable expectations, a push for accountability and consumers who are armed with unprecedented levels of customisation, knowledge and choice at their fingertips.

"We live in challenging and chaotic times, from the looming threat of junk status to the femicide crisis. People are scared and desperately looking for something or someone to steady the ship. No longer being able to rely solely on government, consumers naturally are turning to the many brands in their lives for comfort or answers. This provides both an opportunity and a risk."