Brand building’s big opportunity

Today’s brands generally deliver on global consumers’ top drivers of both purchasing consideration and trust in a brand, which are predominantly functional. Fewer consider the average company to be delivering on CSR-related qualities, however.


In general, the average company today...


In general, the average company today...

Overall, minorities feel the average company is not hiding important information in the fine print, is committed to sustainability/improving the environment, has values that align with their own, or stands for something beyond profit – though nearly 4 in 10 strongly agree that the average company does a good job of protecting their data as well as customers’ data, privacy and security in general.

When it comes to important political and social issues:


Though big brands and their leaders are not especially trusted to do what’s right when it comes to sociopolitical issues, a fair share of Americans hold them responsible for addressing these matters.

The world over, today’s consumer considers corporate social responsibility just as important to their relationships with and purchasing of brands as more functional product- or service-related qualities.

Importance to American consumers that companies they purchase from do the following:

The continued rise in ethical consumption and consumer activism means favorability toward and trust in brands is driven by more societal and stakeholder impact more than ever before.


of U.S. adults say that they rarely, if ever, overlook a company acting irresponsibly or unethically – they’d instead stop buying from them.


of U.S. adults say they pay attention to ethics of companies they buy from, with another 60% saying the same for political matters relating to companies they buy from.


of U.S. adults think companies should play a role in influencing political, societal and/or cultural issues.

With average agreement, and therefore net agreement notably higher on functional qualities, it’s clear that these are not only not differentiating for today’s brands, they’re table stakes – without which few brands have permission to play, let alone stay, in consumers’ lives.

This leaves qualities relating to stakeholders, society and values – which also demonstrate greater variability in the share of Americans considering the average company to deliver on these traits – as ripe ground for ownership and brand differentiation.

These more social and emotional attributes are also consequential drivers of purchasing consideration and trust, and are only gaining momentum in today’s increasingly conscious, global and discerning world.

Up Next: How to Break Trust

© 2021 Morning Consult, All Rights Reserved.