May 17, 2023
In the not-too-distant past, B2C brands have often opted to stay neutral on controversial issues to avoid alienating any part of their audience. But times have changed and many consumers have turned their backs on B2C brands that intentionally choose to stay quiet on social and political issues. A recent study by Accenture reveals that the deterioration of consumer trust can negatively affect a brand’s competitiveness and potentially cost billions of dollars in revenue.
But audiences are looking for more than just a brand sharing an opinion on Twitter– socially-conscious consumers are making it clear that they expect companies to make a meaningful commitment to the causes that their core audiences care about. Because of this trend, the term ‘brand purpose’ has become an important benchmark in marketing for B2C brands looking to capture and cultivate loyalty from their audiences.
So how do B2C brands weave social responsibility into their messaging and their internal practices without alienating audiences that can suss out a lack of commitment? And how can it make an impact on their bottom line while also helping to create change for the environment and society in general?
Authenticity is Key
In order to get on the right path, B2C brands need to approach social activism in a genuinely authentic way, not just as a marketing ploy. Audiences can easily recognize when B2C brands are trying to use cause marketing as a way to inflate profits when there is no evidence of a company actually trying to help a cause or when a brand’s actions do not align with the causes that they have publicly stated they support.
Audiences are savvy, and it makes sense for B2C brands to weave purpose, meaning, and thoughtful social values into their messaging. Consumers want to know that the brands they support share their values more than ever.
Transparency is also an important component in building an authentic message, especially with younger audiences. When B2C brands are transparent, it leads to higher engagement and a deeper connection between brands and their audiences.
B2C brands need to invest in their storytelling– they need to make sure that their audiences understand who their work benefits and why. This is where real stories with real people need to be communicated to audiences.
The Numbers Tell the Story of Social Responsibility
A NielsenIQ corporate social responsibility survey found that 55% of global respondents stated that they are willing to pay extra for products and services from B2C brands that are committed to making a positive social and environmental impact. B2C brands that are known for their socially-minded values are top drivers for purchasing decisions.
Social responsibility also resonates with employees– a recent nonprofitsource.com study revealed that those who engage in corporate giving programs tend to stay with their companies longer.
Leveraging Market Research to Connect with Socially-Minded Audiences
For B2C brands, knowing what causes their audiences care about is important. With so much competition, the brands that center their mission-focused messaging and back it up with action will come out on top. Investing in market research helps companies gain insights directly from their audiences.
Working with an established research firm like Eyes4Research can help brands gather the data they need to learn more from socially-minded B2C audiences to supercharge their bottom line and keep their customers coming back.
Read more about consumer behavior on the Eyes4Research blog. Eyes4Research also has everything you need to collect high-quality insights from consumers. Our panels are comprised of B2B, B2C, and specialty audiences ready to participate in your next research project. Learn more about our specialty panels here.