Wave 3

The rise of ideological buying

Over the past 18 months, the media has been awash with stories about the environment, social justice and ethics.

Now, people expect brands to get on board and help them navigate choppy waters, swerve into new ideas and forge ahead on the issues that matter.

Your audience has morals

50% will pay more for environmental and ethical brands.

It’s not all about price anymore.

Attitudes have changed and people are prepared to dig deeper into a brand’s stance on issues, such as sustainability and diversity, before deciding what and who to buy from.

What this means for your brand

You need to be smart and make your positioning clear.

Is your brand embracing a greener outlook? Or making your workplace more inclusive? If so, how and why are you doing it?

Spell that out, back it up – and above all: be authentic.

It’ll only have the reverse effect if you’re all talk and no substance.

Who’s done it well?

Already working toward reaching net zero in their own operations by 2025, Mitie recently announced a partnership with Sustainable Development Capital LLP (SDCL) to help customers on their net zero journey.

Whilst SDCL will help fund these projects, Mitie will bring their expertise and help manage it all – including supporting organisations to embrace new equipment, such as solar panels, to generate renewable energy on site.

How to market sustainably

Read more

Brand values are valuable

56% of Gen Zers consider themselves to be socially conscious

Gen Z is no stranger to social comings and goings. Growing up in a time of accelerated climate change, political and financial upheaval and now a pandemic, they’re concerned about what’s going on in the world.

What this means for your brand

If Gen Z cares, then they expect your brand to too.

Showing social awareness could determine whether your brand is put forward for consideration higher up the ladder, so dig deep, live up to your promises and do make sure to practice what you preach.

Who’s done it well?

Casting aside Christmas campaign cliches, Vodafone launched an advertising campaign asking people to donate their old devices to disadvantaged children and families this year.

Supporting their commitment to connect one million people living without internet access by the end of 2022, Vodafone will contribute six months of free connectivity for every donation.

They’re not afraid to speak up

86% say company CEOs should speak out publicly about societal challenges

With an eye on social happenings, people expect brands to go beyond the performative and take a stand when it comes to current affairs and social issues.

What this means for your brand

Whilst admittedly, it can feel counterintuitive to speak out and risk upsetting some of your customers, silence really is far from golden.

By taking a stance on an issue, your brand can connect to people on a far deeper level than a blanket “let’s appeal to the masses” approach.

Top tip: Tread carefully. Politics and religion are still out of bounds.

Who's reacted well?

As part of their Hope United campaign, created to tackle online hate, BT launched the virtual Wall of Hope.

It’s aim? To keep the positive messages left on the Marcus Rashford mural after England’s Euro 2020 final alive.

People want to be part of something bigger

79% say that they are more likely to buy from companies that have responded well during the pandemic

Peoples’ expectations for brands to go beyond their sole purpose and play a role in making wider change happen has only deepened during the pandemic.

It’s not just about delivering on your own initiatives and values anymore.

What this means for your brand

Your brand needs to show your audience you’re in it for the greater good.

What’s going on around you? How can you help make things better?

Don’t hold back. If large-scale support is needed, your brand shouldn’t hesitate to jump into action.

Who’s done it well?

Shifting to digital education was one of the biggest points of concern for schools and educational institutions during the pandemic.

Stepping up to make it easier, Logitech launched K-12, a program offering teachers free webcams and headsets to make the transition to virtual teaching that much easier.

They’re relying on you

64% want to look to brands as a reliable source of information

You’ve probably heard it before: “people want to be educated, not sold to”.

But what if it goes deeper than that?

People always want to look smart and get clued up quickly. That’s why more are looking to brands to get the latest industry insights and information.

What this means for your brand

In short, it pays to become the go-to source.

People are more likely to take your brand into consideration if you’re keeping them up to speed by being helpful and informative.

Top tip: Ensure your thought leadership is up to the challenge: only 17% rate the quality of the thought-leadership they read as ‘very good’ or ‘excellent’. And that’s an opportunity to get the upper-hand on your competitors.

Who’s done it well?

Exploring the impact of the pandemic on everything from climate change and the global workforce, PWC’s Take on Tomorrow series helps businesses understand what’s next on their road to success.

Ready to ride the wave?

A wave of change in the world of work that is an opportunity to connect with your audience in a totally different way

A wave of change in a generation of buyers that need a whole new set of channels and ideas to hook them

A wave of change in our buying decisions focused on those doing good in the world puts the opportunity to step up in the hands of brands.