So-called brand activism seems to be here to stay in the marketing and advertising field, the latest reports prove it. And it seems that consumers generally approve of this new trend.
According to a recent study conducted in the United States by Piplsay, 49% of consumers view brand activism positively, while 17% view it critically and 34% take a neutral position.
People are more attentive to brand activism in 2021
In its report, Piplsay put under the spotlight the activism of brands such as PepsiCo, Procter & Gamble, Mars, and Hasbro, which have gone to the extreme of changing the logos and names of their products with the ultimate goal of solving problems such as racism and gender inequality.
Still, 31% of consumers accuse brands that have recently tried to make money by jumping on the bandwagon of a culture war.
The 31% of consumers are more optimistic, who believe that brand activism can actually translate into real change. On the other hand, 17% feel that there are no real transformations that overlap with brand activism. And 21% are not sure what to think about it.
In any case, 58% of consumers confess that brand activism has directly impacted their purchasing behavior and the impression of specific companies.
Since the Black Lives Matter movement was resurrected more vigorously than ever last summer, 38% of consumers admit to having higher expectations of brands. Thirty-one percent say those expectations are unchanged and 22% say they have no expectations of brands at all.
In a previous report conducted last summer by Pipslay, 65% of consumers said that brands should step up and fight racism.
Thirty-one percent of consumers recall, on the other hand, PepsiCo’s decision to rebrand Aunt Jemina and rename it Pearl Milling Company. Many consumers are similarly familiar with Hasbro’s recent decision to eliminate gender labels on the Mr. Potato brand.
The consumers are less familiar with some changes made in recent months by brands such as Uncle Ben’s (10%), Land O Lakes (9%), and Mrs. Butterworth’s (8%).
Consumer perception of brand activism is far from being uniform
That changes have made relatively little dent in consumer memory is in line with a finding from research undertaken last summer by Piplsay: 61% of consumers were not 100% convinced that removing racist mascots and names from brands would actually have a real impact.
Piplsay’s report also shows more than notable gender and age differences in judging brand activism. Fifty-five percent of men view brand activism positively, compared to 45% of women.
And while 57% of millennials say brand activism impacts their behavior and view of brands, only 43% of Generation Z does the same.