- Consumer cynicism is high globally
- Privacy matters
- Authenticity makes a difference
There is a large ‘authenticity gap’ between brands and consumers, with 75 per cent of nearly 12,000 consumers surveyed across 14 markets saying that brands and companies have a credibility problem. Disney topped the list of Authentic 100 brands global study by Cohn & Wolfe, followed by BMW, Microsoft, Amazon and Apple.
The Authentic 100 is an annual index of global brands ranked by consumer perception of authenticity. Other top 20 brands in the global Authentic 100 include Samsung, Lego, Ford, Google and Coca-Cola.
The report highlights that consumer cynicism is high globally, with four out of five stating brands are not ‘open and honest’. Divided geographically, China and Indonesia came out to be the least cynical countries with 36 per cent and 35 per cent, respectively saying they feel brands are honest.
Privacy concerns are high for consumers and a core component of what makes a brand authentic. Globally, ‘protecting customer data and privacy’ ranked as the fourth most important attribute of authenticity today.
Authenticity in the consumer’s eyes goes a long way as It was interesting to note that about nine out of 10 consumers are willing to take action to reward a brand for its authenticity, including 52 per cent who would recommend the brand to others and 49 per cent who would pledge loyalty to the brand. Twenty per cent would be prepared to put their money on the table and invest in a brand that proves its authenticity.
The report also highlighted that consumers are looking for daily, real-life reminders that they can count on brands. In defining authenticity, they prioritise ‘high quality’ (66 per cent) and ‘delivering on promises’ (70 per cent) over more lofty measures like ‘social responsibility’ (57 per cent) and ‘environmental responsibility’ (55 per cent).
“The rules of communication have irrevocably changed, and we’re seeing consumers reward brands that understand how to engage with them openly and honestly. In fact, consumers will forgive the occasional corporate misstep if a company is upfront, and addresses the issue head-on. The brands topping the Authentic 100 understand this, and have demonstrated consistently that they value more than just their bottom lines by fostering a genuine dialogue with their customers,” says Donna Imperato , CEO, Cohn & Wolfe.