Over the years, the perception people have on business and brands has changed. And it continues changing to a more trusting and progressive buying system. In 2017 alone, the rise of the belief-driven buyer increased to 1-in-2 people, with 67% of people saying they brought from a brand for the first time due to its stance on a controversial issue. But the system goes both ways, 65% of people also boycotted a brand as it stayed silent on an issue.
What is a Belief-Driven Buyer?
A belief-driven buyer (BDB) is someone who chooses where they buy their products depending on their political and social stance, as well as their corporate social responsibility (CSR). If a company is ‘doing good’ and is associated with the same causes, the belief driven buyer will choose their products. However, if a company doesn’t get involved or is associated with bad press, they will boycott these brands. Meaning that a businesses CSR can have a huge effect on their market growth.
Trusting a business
Businesses are becoming more and more trusted, with 43% of people trusting businesses over the government in France. With this kind of trust in an institution, 64% of people say that the CEOs of companies should be taking the lead on change, and not wait for the government to impose new laws.
Some brands are living up to this expectation. For example, the incredibly famous Nike ‘Just Do It’ campaign with Colin Kaepernick in September 2018. This ad received a huge amount of controversy, with people burning their Nike products and promising to never buy their products again. Yet their profits soared, with a different, larger crowd finding their move inspiring and right, therefore buying their products more.
Another example is Patagonia. They have tackled Trump at every turn when it comes to climate change. Their first stance against the administration was when they changed their website homepage to a simple quote.
”“The President Stole Your Land.”
This was in protest to Donald Trump after he reduced the size of the National Monuments, Bear Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante in Utah. The founder, Yvon Chouinard, has even taken Trump to court to fight for the matter. More recently, they have announced that they will be donating their extra $10 million they gained due to the Presidents new tax cut. A 2017 quote from Patagonia’s CEO, Rose Marcario, sums the situation up perfectly;
”“Any time that we do something good for the environment, we make more money”
How have Belief-Driven Buyers changed over the years?
Within each country, the growth is different, however from our findings, it seems that all countries belief-driven buyers are increasing. In Japan, there has been a rise of 21% from 2017 to 2018, increasing from 39% of people being BDB to 60% in 2018. A 15% rise in France from 50% to 65%. The UK has risen by 20%, from 37% to 57% and a 17% growth in Germany going to 54% from 37%. There has even been a 3% growth in India, going from 65% to 68%.
This isn’t just a ‘trend’ that is growing due to the new generation of buyers. This is spread across generations, with the older generations becoming more conscious consumers. Having increased from 38% to 56% (age 55+) from 2017 to 2018.
This is still behind the other generations, with 18-34 yr-olds at 69% (rising from 60% in 2017) and 67% of 35-54 yr-olds (from 53%).
Belief-driven buying has also spread across income levels, showing that having a good purpose and cause is potentially more important than cost. In 2018, both the people in the lower income category and the middle income group reached 62%, with the low-income increasing by 11% and the middle income by 16+. Perhaps unsurprising, as the majority of good conscious products are more expensive, the percentage of people in the high-income level has increased by 11% to hit 69% of people identifying as belief-driven buyers.
53% of people believe that brands can do more to solve issues than the government. This is an incredible figure that we cannot view lightly. Not only do brands and business have a responsibility to make a change and prove this percentage correct. It also draws in more consumers, allowing a business to grow, and effectively do more good. Does your company have a strong stance on issues? Do you do what is best for your society? Now is the time.