New WE Brands in Motion Report: "The Privacy Mandate"

June 14, 2022

New WE Brands in Motion Study Reveals Post-Pandemic Consumers Want More Personalized Experiences Without Compromising Trust and Data Security



NEW YORK, LONDON, SINGAPORE – 14 JUNE 2022 – Today, WE Communications (WE) released its latest Brands in Motion global report, “The Privacy Mandate: New Normal, New Rules.” The data uncovers the increasing expectations from consumers on issues related to privacy and fair use of personal data in the post-pandemic era.

Partnering with YouGov, WE surveyed consumers in Australia, China, India, Singapore, the United Kingdom (UK) and the United States (US) to understand their stance on data privacy — defined as the consumer’s understanding of what an organization is using their data for and how that data has been gathered.   

Ninety-seven percent of global study respondents say data privacy is an important issue, with more than eight out of ten saying they would stop or reconsider doing business with brands that do not proactively share their approach to collecting data.

“Keeping user information confidential and secure has become table stakes for brands,” said WE’s APAC Regional Technology Lead Sara Pereira. “Today’s increasingly tech-savvy and sophisticated consumers want to know: ‘What’s in it for me?’. They want to see their data used in ways that add to their user experience.”

The study finds that pandemic measures, such as contact tracing apps, have left users better informed on privacy trade-offs. Sixty-nine percent of those surveyed believe that brands use their data to create personalized content and refine their marketing strategy to better suit customers’ needs. With data needs changing so rapidly, brands must rethink what privacy means to customers and how to communicate it.

The study uncovers three main themes:


Global consumers want brands to share their approach to collecting and protecting their data proactively, and not wait until there’s a privacy breach to communicate about their security efforts. They expect companies to build trust with the media for their stance on privacy and confidentiality. Brands that fail to do so risk having most of their customers reconsider doing business with them — or stop entirely.

“Data privacy and security have become important trust and reputation issues. Brands that only look to communications as a post-crisis response are missing out on an engagement opportunity,” said Pereira. “Communications can and must be part of the customer’s data privacy experience and play prominently in the customer journey — not just when disaster strikes.”



The WE Brands in Motion report found that consumers want to know where, when, and how they give access to their data. Sixty-five percent of global consumers say it is important to know how brands handle their personal information. The vast majority are at least somewhat concerned about how their data is collected and used. In other words, they demand full disclosure and transparency from brands.

Consumers also trust some institutions more than others, with 82% of respondents stating that they are concerned with how social media sites collect and use their data versus 62% for government agencies.

“Sophisticated audiences expect sophisticated stories,” said Pereira. “It’s time for brands to move beyond check-the-box disclosures and notifications.”



Brands should also communicate how the collected data is changing consumers’ lives for the better. Eighty-seven percent of respondents surveyed will reconsider or stop doing business with a brand if it asks for information perceived as not relevant to the product or service provided.

In addition, UK and US respondents have higher expectations of businesses versus governments, and look to brands to lead on finding solutions to societal issues. This “brand-first” mentality carries through to who is responsible for addressing data breaches as well, with 78% of UK respondents and 64% of US respondents believing that the onus is on the brand.

“To thrive in this new normal, brands must exhibit bold leadership, foster deep trust and have the courage to use data to do more than simply market themselves more effectively.” said Pereira.



The WE Brands in Motion report is a worldwide study of how perceptions shift over time, conducted by WE and YouGov. Now in its fifth year, Brands in Motion has surveyed 95,000+ consumers and B2B decision-makers about their attitudes regarding:

  • Expectations for brand actions and investments
  • Forces affecting the market on a macro level
  • Expectations for purpose initiatives
  • Industries



WE is one of the largest independent communications and integrated marketing agencies in the world. We’re all about people — both our clients and employees — and we believe in the power of communications to move audiences to positive action. Female-founded, female-led, and fiercely independent, WE has spent more than three decades helping world-class brands tell technology-led transformation stories that shift perceptions and change behavior.

Our global reach includes offices in 21 cities, partner networks that expand our footprint and client capabilities, and a team of more than 1,200 media and content strategists, creatives and data scientists across our technology, health, and consumer sectors. Our work with global brands like Microsoft, Honeywell, McDonald’s, and Volvo has been recognised by Cannes Lions, PRovoke SABRE Awards and PRWeek Awards, just to name a few.


For more information, press only: JJ Minder, WE, jminder@we-worldwide.com