New Delhi: Indian consumers prefer to buy goods and services from companies that stand for a shared purpose that reflects their personal values and beliefs, a global survey has found.
In the India-specific findings of the Global Consumer Pulse survey by consulting firm Accenture, 82% respondents said that they prefer buying from companies that reflect their personal values. 81% consumers want companies to take a stand on the social, cultural, environmental and political issues close to their hearts. Moreover, 84% say their purchasing decisions are influenced by the words, values and actions of a company’s leaders.
Consumers are attracted to organisations that are committed to using good quality ingredients (84%), treat employees well (70%), and believe in reducing plastics and improving the environment (74%).
The fourteenth annual Accenture Strategy Global Consumer Pulse Research – ‘From Me to We: The Rise of the Purpose-led Brand’ – surveyed nearly 30,000 consumers globally including 660 Indian consumers, to gauge their expectations of brands and companies.
“Technology and media have empowered consumers to take a stand on their opinions and beliefs, and this has had a profound impact on how they evaluate their brand associations. Price, product quality and customer experience continue to be important considerations but a brand’s purpose beyond profit has emerged as a clear differentiator," said Anindya Basu, geographic unit and country senior managing director, Accenture in India.
Today 75% consumers say their purchasing consideration is driven by a company’s ethical values and authenticity. Furthermore, 84% crave greater transparency in how companies source their products; ensure safe working conditions and their stance on important issues such as animal testing.
“This shift in expectations from ‘give me what I want’ to ‘support the ideals we believe in’ provides brands the opportunity to create stronger and more resilient customer relationships which generate more sales and greater customer lifetime value," Basu added.
Apart from demanding better products and services from companies, consumers are becoming vocal about their brand experiences on digital platforms. 84% consumers believe their individual protest actions, such as boycotting a company or speaking out on social media, can make a difference in how companies behave. Meanwhile, 48% have been disappointed by how a company acted which betrayed consumers’ belief in what the company stands for, and 59% have stopped doing business with the company as a result.
“To usher in the next era of engagement, companies need to focus on creating a community of loyal, engaged and valuable brand proponents. Involving customers, employees and the larger ecosystem of stakeholders to identify and shape shared values will be the key," said Vineet R. Ahuja, managing director, customer insight and growth strategy, Accenture Strategy.
The report suggested that companies can become purpose drive by defining what their business stands for, being clear and authentic and engaging consumers on a deeper level.