Corporate Activism: towards a crisis of confidence? #229


Communicating about brand commitments is good. Keeping your promises is better. What should we learn from the latest RepTrak report on Corporate Activism?

Commitment as a criterion for brand loyalty.

According to the study, the role of sustainable and societal commitments in the overall reputation of brands reached a score of 70.5/100 in the first half of 2021.

Diversity, gender equality, environmental impact… Not really surprisingly, the support given by brands to these subjects, among others, remains a strong lever of reputation and purchase: 63% of respondents say they prefer to consume goods and services from a company expressing convictions on issues that reflect their values and beliefs.

Strengthen the credibility of commitments.

While still high, this score of 70.5 is a slight decline from last year’s score of 71.

According to RepTrak, this weak signal could be partly attributed to general consumer fatigue in the face of the accumulation of headline news stories. This context would encourage “slacktivism”, i.e. the multiplication of engagements requiring a relatively low investment: signing an online petition, “buy one, give one” operations, sharing a post on Instagram…  In short, a “pop up” engagement to the detriment of more concrete and longer lasting actions.

36% of those surveyed believe they have already felt betrayed by a brand when it comes to the implementation of its positions. And 47% say they have turned away from these brands for the same reason.

Report “Corporate Activism: Stay Woke? – RepTrak 2021.

Embodiment has a major role to play in fostering credibility. According to the study, companies whose CEOs speak out on social, environmental and political issues, for example, have even higher reputation scores.

The report also shows the need to communicate regularly and transparently about brand promises, progress and achievements, with tangible evidence. “The consistency of a commitment and the communication around it support a healthy reputation (…). Indicators related to environmental, social and governance issues are the strongest in determining whether or not the public is willing to trust a company and give it the benefit of the doubt,” the study concluded.

Journal du luxe